‘Smile’ stands for Smile Makes interesting Listening Everytime. So I was informed at a training day I had to attend for work recently on how to give effective and confident radio and TV interviews. Even on radio, smiling helps: it raises confidence and helps to give a more varied vocal tone.
I seem to keep hearing and reading thoughts about smiling.
Last week I was the subject (or victim) of a photo-shoot for an article in the next (June) edition of the RCN Bulletin. My colleague and I were made to smile for every mock-up photo, however forced and false it may have felt. Smiling as we pretended to take a client’s blood pressure, smiling as we listened to him telling us about his difficulties… Apparently it makes for more publication-worthy photos.
On a more realistic note, this morning I read a heartening article about smiling by Jeff Lucas in this month’s Christianity magazine – highlighting the warm, welcoming, affirming nature of a friendly smile.
In my last blog post for We Occupy Jesus: My Goodness (And Yours), I referred to ‘the power of God’s smile to change me’. Just after posting that, I came across these thoughts by Brennan Manning in Reflections for Ragamuffins:
The smiling Christ heals and liberates. With newly discovered delight in ourselves, we go out to our brothers and sisters as we are, where they are, and minister the smiling Christ to them. Not far away from us, there is someone who is afraid and needs our courage; someone who is lonely and needs our presence.
Manning finishes the reflection by quoting Psalm 67:1: May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us.
What does it mean for God’s face to shine on us? Surely it’s his smile – an expression of his grace beaming on us. The smile that transcends rainy days and ruinous times and lets us know that he doesn’t just love us – he likes us.
Incredibly, even as I write this, Osibisa’s fabulously funky and energetic 1975 hit Sunshine Day is playing on the radio:
Everybody do what you’re doing, Smile will bring a sunshine day.
There it is again!
So my prayer for you and for me is that we will experience the affirming, sunshiney smile of God. His smile isn’t positive spin like in a media interview or magazine article, but the warm smile of friendship that says: “You’re ok, in fact you’re awesome, I like you, let’s spend some time together” – and may we take his smile to others who need it today.
Finally, here’s My Goodness (And Yours) again for you, in case you missed it the first time: