When you picture God, how do you see Him? What about our Blessed Mother Mary, how do you see her? And the Saints, how do you see them in your mind’s eye? When I picture them in my head they are always smiling, and not just smiling, they are beaming at me. They are radiating Christ’s love.
Even when I’m grumpy and complaining to Him, Jesus is always smiling at me.
I went on a spiritual retreat recently where one of my take away messages was the power of a smile. For me as a mom of young children, a simple smile is a display of holiness–it radiates God’s love. It’s a kind of superpower, a channel for God’s awesome power to flow through me and into the world…and into my children’s hearts.
I exercised the superpower of a smile yesterday. It was the first time I had intentionally done this during a difficult tantrum, and the results were nothing short of miraculous.
The scene: My 3 y/o daughter is screaming and crying (epic tantrum). I can’t quite remember the cause but I think it was something along the lines of not wanting whatever food was for lunch, etc.
I knelt down at her level, made eye contact and SMILED at her. Like big, huge Mother Teresa-inspired smile. It was an instantaneous response: her tantrum literally melted away and she was calm. She told me with her words what she was upset about, and we moved on. The house was (for the moment) peaceful again.
I feel like I’ve been conditioned to think of tantrums as “bad”, undesirable behavior that needs to be corrected or even disciplined. So to get down at my daughter’s level and smile went against every fiber of my being.
It was a forced, contrived smile. I definitely did NOT feel like smiling. But, as my husband said when we were talking about it later that evening, that smile was true agape love. To show love, even when you don’t feel it, is to love like God loves.
“I give you a new commandment: love one anther. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34).
Your smile, Mama, is your superpower…or rather, God’s awesome superpower-love working through you. And what could be a more perfect power than God’s love?