A story of hope can be found in a single smile

A single smile

It can capture us and hold us like nothing else can.

Within it, we find something small, but meaningful.

We notice it right away.

Ignoring it is not so easily done.

We see it and grab hold of it.

Believing in the moment it is given

as much as the reason it is given.

It shares a piece of the giver and we give something in return.

Something just as simple.

And in the middle we find hope.

A day I will not soon forget

Although seemingly familiar, yesterday was not like other days.

My purpose was written in pen and yet nothing could have prepared me for the emotions I still feel today.

My coworker and our students (along with myself) found a way to give to others.

The purpose was centered around a holiday meal being given to people who were unable to provide their own.

Each meal contained all of the normal fixings for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner…

Food to be shared with family and friends.

“The light at the end of the tunnel”

One man brought two of his nine children with the son being quick to make sure they received a pumpkin pie.

As we waited in line, I made small talk with them all and as we walked away with goodies in hand, I could tell the dad was troubled so without warning, I shared these few words…

“No one sees the light at the end of the tunnel while they are in the middle of the storm.”

The man looked at me and said, “You are right” and I quickly followed up my first sentence with another…

“Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”

The man looked at me again, somewhat perplexed by my words.

As he slowly walked away, I whispered, “Remain faithful. The light is hope and when there is nothing else to hold onto, look towards the end of the tunnel.”

I stood there for a moment and watched him walk away.

He was still trying to process what wisdom was just shared with him and before he turned the corner, I saw him look at me once more.

The reason we give

Another woman and I caught up in conversation while waiting in line together.

We shared small tidbits about giving and once again, words escaped my heart in a way I could not have predicted…

I said, “We give in the fashion of what we deserve.”

She looked at me and asked me to repeat what I said.

So I did…”We give in the fashion of what we deserve.”

Again this woman looked at me, and said, “You are so right.”

Continuing our chat as I helped her across the street with this meal, I learned that she was going to cook this meal for a larger group of people.

People that otherwise would not celebrate with family or friends.

She hugged me as she placed a kiss on my cheek and said, “I love you.”

It was more

Some might say that I merely handed out a Thanksgiving dinner to people who needed one.

Others might say, I did what many people do this time of year — giving to the less fortunate.

And I would agree.

But I would add, that yesterday was so much more.

A woman so humbled by her fear of judgment brought tears to her eyes as she thanked us all.

Another woman was tearful because of the grace being offered to her without judgment.

Before our group was dismissed I share a little bit more about why I believe in hope…and how important it is to give to others.

Not because we are forced to or we are asked to, but because we have the ability to do so.

Too often, we do nothing.

Never assuming responsibility for the life and well being of another.

Believing that what we have to offer is not enough.

Or that giving once does not make a difference if a family were to become hungry again.

But the act of giving is never something we need analyze — it is simple.

To give.

Without condition or be held for ransom.

No recognition or praise required.

Just to give.

It is so simple and yet we dismiss opportunity and the chances granted to us far too often.

The size of the gift is irrelevant.

A single gift creates a wake so immense it can never be missed.

 

That we should offer kindness and compassion more than we offer criticism and spite.

Even a little help given and received connects in ways that leave HUGE moments in our heaerts.

In a world where nothing is guaranteed, sometimes, a simple smile can restore all that has been lost.

That light we call HOPE.

Michelle A. Homme 2018