A little smile. How much can one little smile do?

Within the course of a year and a half, I have lost two friends to suicide. For anyone who has experienced this, you know how your heart sank; how you felt like the world was turned upside down. I pray none of you never know how this feels.

Following the death of my first friend and after the initial shock, talking with friends, the visitation, the funeral, and all that, I was left with the question: what next? What do I do now to make sure this never happens again? For a long time I didn’t know. Unfortunately, it didn’t click until my second friend had already taken his life.

A smile, a single stinking smile. St. Theresa of Calcutta says “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” Never underestimate the power of one smile. We all have bad days and you never know the day someone has had. One single smile, one “hello” may be the little drop of hope that they need.

Ask God for a heart that does not fear kindness. Talking to or making eye contact with someone you don’t know can be very intimidating. It’s uncomfortable and could be terrifying almost. The funny thing is, God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He doesn’t call us to stay inside our own little bubble. You may be the sign somehow has been praying for. You never know, God works in mysterious ways! And of course – don’t just smile at the shy kid in the corner, for sometimes the most outgoing people are hurting the most.

Although I know that I can’t live with the guilt that I should have done something more to save my friends, I do wonder sometimes “what if?” What if I hadn’t stayed so prideful in my own little heart, and had reached out when I saw them hurting the most? When you feel that nudge in your heart, or as my youth leader calls it: a “God wink,” don’t ignore it. Act on it, or pray on it if it’s something even bigger that God is calling you to do for someone that may need that little ounce of joy at just the moment God calls you to act. We are His messengers and our greatest duty is to love, to love just as He loves us.

God bless.

2 comments

  1. Yes! Totally agree! Great post; very helpful and well-written! And I’m sorry to hear that two of your friends committed suicide! 😦
    I’d like to add something to emphasize just how much I agree that small acts of love really matter.
    I used to be really really depressed…here’s something I journaled on a particularly painful day: “Please, someone, anyone…just give me one small reason to be happy…smile at me…say something positive and mean it…encourage me…anything…” I meant it sincerely. And eventually, I did get a smile…I can’t remember exactly when (it was while I was still depressed, I know). I will always remember that moment, though. I was in a school hallway and a quiet, friendly girl who was in one of my classes smiled at me. It brightened my whole day and I still can’t get over how amazing it was! If I had been suicidal right then, I am almost 100% sure that her smile would have been enough to keep me going. I’m not even exaggerating. As (Lauren?) wrote, “One single smile, one “hello” may be the little drop of hope that they need.” Smiles really can save lives!
    So, I think you came to the right conclusion, (Lauren?)! 🙂

    Like

    1. Oh wow, I had no idea how long my comment was…I’m not trying to steal the spotlight or anything, I just tend to always write ridiculously long replies to everything. 😦 Sorry about that!

      Like

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