Friday, June 28, 2013

Devotion for today: Love shines in your eyes

Proverbs 15:30: The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the body.

I was recently holding my little seven week old granddaughter, Elena. She was staring at me intently, and then, for the first time, she broke out in a big smile! Keeping her eyes fixed on mine, she did it again! I made what I considered to be appropriate little noises and she did it again! She knew me! No, my nay-saying friends, it was not gas. It was recognition, and she was happy to see me! What joy!

When my daughter Lauren was little, we were looking at the stories in her Golden Book Bible. “Did Jesus ever smile?” she solemnly asked me, and I had to pause. Did He? The word itself does not appear in the New Testament as far as I know, yet surely He smiled. “Yes,” I replied. “He did.” “How do you know?” she demanded (she grew up to become an attorney) and I paused. How did I know? How was I so sure I was right? I replied, “Well, Jesus loved people very much, and when you love, you smile. Jesus healed the sick; He raised the dead; He fed the hungry; he comforted the sorrowful and He forgave sins. He told people about His Father in heaven and spread Good News wherever He went. Can you bring that kind of happiness to people and not smile when they say ‘thank you’?” “Nope,” she said, “I think Jesus smiled a lot.”

In this Year of Faith, we are asked to evangelize and spread the Good News. Rule #1 in the Sandy Bertini book of “How to Evangelize” in today’s world is simple. Smile. Smile when you buy your stamps; smile when you check out at the grocery store; smile when you let someone cut in front of you. Smile and let love shine in your eyes. Can you picture a dour Jesus raising the little girl from the dead? Can you even imagine a serious, self-absorbed Jesus touching the lepers and cleansing them, then staring stone-faced at the one who returned to thank Him? I cannot. To me, the very name Jesus means joy.

When you heal the sick of heart by listening to their problems and comforting them, smile and let them know they are loved. When you feed the starving soul of a friend in search of life’s answers, smile as you tell them about the amazing love and mercy Jesus has for them. Live your faith unabashedly and bravely, to be sure, but joyfully, even more!! The Good News you are living and presenting will refresh the body and soul of all you meet. Let your eyes shine forth with joy.

When I die, I want to stare full face into the eyes of God, and I want to see Him recognize me, and smile. I want Him to be happy to see me. What joy!

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