Picture this: a group of Americans on a mission trip to Guatemala, eager to connect with the locals despite not speaking the language. That sounds like a recipe for frustration.
Well, that’s where the power of a smile comes in.
As they embarked on their ministry work, the group quickly realized that a smile is a universal language that transcends barriers of culture and language. And boy, did they smile!
From the moment they arrived, they greeted everyone with warm, friendly smiles, even if they couldn’t communicate through words. And guess what? It worked like magic.
People were drawn to them like moths to a flame, not because they were Americans with gifts to give but because they radiated kindness.
One little girl named Michelle stands out in particular. At first, she was shy and hesitant around the group, but their persistent smiles and efforts to connect eventually won her over. And the moment she hugged one of them, despite being unable to speak their language, was a true testament to the power of a smile.
But the story doesn’t end there.
The group returned home with a newfound appreciation for the power of nonverbal communication and the positive impact that a simple smile can have. And that is the message that I want to share with you, dear reader.
You don’t have to travel to Guatemala to practice smiling; you can start right where you are. Smile at your loved ones, your coworkers, your neighbors, the person checking you out at the grocery store – hey, smile at a stranger on the street. You never know how much of a difference it could make in their day.
So go ahead, turn that frown upside down, and join the mission to spread joy and kindness one smile at a time. As Joseph Addison once said, “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.”
*Above photo is Draper and the volunteer team from Gardendale First Baptist Church on a recent mission trip to Guatemala.
Dr. Draper Rogers is Pastor of Young Families at Gardendale First Baptist Church and a contributor to The North Jefferson Herald.