Thursday, February 15, 2007
The Magic of Smiles
I once read a wonderful quote that goes something like this:
“Everyone smiles in the same language”.
Isn’t that so true?
Yesterday I spent a few hours going through some of my old videos from China, and it was a true walk down memory lane to go back and watch some of my first visits to orphanages four years ago. Each video starts out pretty much the same, with babies and toddlers looking very solemn at the strange lady who looks so different than their aunties. Each child seems to have that “don’t come any closer” look on their face in the beginning. But then my trusty backpack magically produces bubbles and twisty balloons, and you can just see all the eyes widen, the curiosity begin, and then the pure sunshine come into the room as the children start SMILING. I could only laugh when I heard myself trying to talk to the children in English while they were trying to talk back to me in Mandarin. None of us had any idea what the other was saying, and yet the one thing that we both understood completely was our smiles. Children understand the beauty of a smile almost from their very first day on this earth.
I love going into the infant rooms and picking up a baby who will lock her eyes onto mine. I love staring into their eyes, and cooing and doing all the soft baby talk every momma instinctively knows. Those are special times to me, especially when that wonderful moment happens when a baby breaks into a smile. I absolutely love those moments, because the happiness on a baby’s face when they realize someone is really looking at them is a joy that just can’t be beat. A baby’s smile might last just a few seconds, but its ability to fill my heart with true warmth lasts so much longer than that.
All of us at LWB want to bring healing, education, and good nutrition to orphanages who want assistance, but we also cherish those times that we can bring real JOY as well. There is nothing quite like the sound of a toddler’s giggle or the sight of a beautiful little child with their eyes crinkled in a smile. What a priceless gift to one's heart that is.