by Bob Valleau
1/08/2010 / Christian Living
An eleven-year-old girl, named Sarah, had Bell's Palsy to the left side of her face since she was born. This paralysis was a result from her mother who did drugs during the pregnancy. All of her life, Sarah did not have the ability to smile. When I heard this story, I thought how unfortunate. I cannot imagine not smiling -- even for one day.
A smile is one of the basic ways we connect to others. A baby smiles at the sound of his or her parents' voice or when they recognize their face. Adults smile for a number of reasons, whether good or bad. For instance, some smile because they are happy while others smile to mask their hurt and pain. Sarah's inability to smile finally took a toll on her, and she wrote an open letter to her classmates that was published in her school paper:
"Dear Friends: Do not look upon me with sorrow or pity. Do not judge me because I cannot smile. That does not mean I'm not happy. Look past the absence of my smile and get to know the real me, because if you do you will find a smile that cannot be explained . . . for it is Christ within me who is my only hope and true joy."
No smile for Sarah did not mean she wasn't happy. And I suppose if she could smile she probably would because she learned that a real smile can only come from a genuine joy -- the kind that Jesus gives and never takes away.
Bob Valleau has over 30 years of writing experience for the Christian market. He was once named Christian Writer of the Year (San Antonio, Texas) by the American Christian Writers Association. He is the author of four books.
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