I want to make people smile.
Not like a comedian, Not laugh like haha, but smile with quiet joy. I want to make people happy. I want people to feel good just by being in the same room with me.
Yesterday I gave someone a smile when they needed it and when they commented on it I happened to be near my computer which has this photo of my 8 month old girl on it.
Without thinking I said “I want to be more like her” and pointed to the photo.
Ginny makes people smile. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look at this baby girl and frown. Or even remain neutral. EVERYONE smiles. Most people bubble with laughter. She just does that to people.
Then I thought about that. What is it that Ginny has that people can see and that makes them smile? It is very tempting to ascribe her joy to innocence. And to a certain extent that would be accurate. Ginny expects good from everyone, because she has received only good so far in her life.
But innocence is not a permanent wellspring for joy. It is not a safe thing to depend on for lifelong, sustaining, bubbling joy. Innocence can be eroded. It can be shattered. It can be stripped away by any number of things, acts, or people.
We cannot hold on to innocence. It evaporates.
So then what? Where do we find joy? Especially a joy that allows us to give happiness and joy to our fellow creatures?
Some people find joy in celebrations. Weddings, parties, holidays, family gatherings (of course some people find those things incredibly annoying, but that’s another post….) . Some people find joy in making other people happy. But that is not a safe source either. It too is fleeting. Requiring energy and efforts that will eventually wear out.
Others find joy in gifts. Giving or getting. But that too is human based and will eventually wear thin. Or the budget will run out.
Joy, at least the kind that can be given away freely, and unreservedly shared with others HAS to come from an inexhaustible source. It cannot come from anything mortal, or anything influenced by mortal, fallible, fragile humans.
Joy of that kind has to come from an infinite source. God.
A heart filled with God’s joy, God’s own blood, God’s desires. This is not something that can be achieved. You can’t work hard enough to make it happen. There is no possible way for any human being to know the heart of God. You would have to somehow have a heart transplant from God himself. How could you possibly perform spiritual heart surgery on yourself? You can’t do it. I can’t do it. Another human being can’t do it for you. But God can. And it’s not just that He can….he WILL. He promises that He will. In Ezekiel 36:26 he explicitly states that he will do this for us. He will give us a new heart. HIS HEART. But you have to allow it. You have to just give up to God.
Only God can give the kind of joy in the midst of trouble that makes THIS smile possible:
This girl, this child has every reason not to smile. Go read about her here, marvel at her joy-filled smile.
A mile long smile that could only have come from God.