I’ve never experienced God speak directly to me before today. Maybe I’ve just not been listening or paying attention. But today, I swear He did. At mass I was sitting by this older gentleman. Afterward, as I was grabbing my coat and scarf, he came up to me. He took my hand and proceeded to say, “God gave you a very beautiful smile. I hope you never lose it.” And then we parted ways after a quick, and probably slightly red-faced, “thank you.” Seems simple enough, right?
That’s what I thought until a few hours later when I was thinking about it again. The odd thing about the encounter was that it was the kind of situation that generally leaves me very uncomfortable after. I don’t know why, but that’s what always happens when men of any age, that I do not know, comment on some aspect of my looks. But this time, I was not even remotely uncomfortable. Maybe, deep down, I already knew at that moment what I would not realize until later, that it had in fact been Christ talking to me through this man. You see, lately I’ve been very easily letting the struggles of everyday life get to me and overcome my joy. I let myself get down in the dumps far too easily and find myself wearing a frown more often than I probably should. I think Christ was trying to say, “Hey, Vivien! I love seeing your smile and others do, too! This is a gift from Me and I want you to share it with everyone. Stop keeping that smile to yourself.” This also relates to the homily Deacon Thom gave today which was about using what God has given you for others and not just yourself, not hoarding your gifts. It all just fit together perfectly. So basically I need to start smiling more to brighten others’ days, even if I’m tempted not to. And research has shown that smiling can lift your own spirits, so it’s a win-win.
Some people are probably thinking that I’m crazy right now for believing that God talked to me through this man, but I truly believe He did. He’s always trying to give us messages through the little things and encounters with strangers in our everyday lives. We just have to slow down and listen. Let’s all just slow down, reflect on our days and listen. God works in mysterious ways and you might be surprised what He’ll use to get His messages to you.