01 October 2011

One smile

  The girl stood in the hallways of her new school, looking around as thousands of other highschoolers walked past her without so much as a backwards glance. Yesterday her home conditions had gotten so bad that Child Protection Services had picked her up and taken her away to a foster home thirty miles from where she had grown up. Now here she was in her new school, and the day passed without anyone speaking to her, or even looking at her. One day turned into two. Two days turned into three. Three turned into a week, and then a month, and then three months went by without someone so much as saying "Hi" to her in the halls.  Finally the awesome pain of not having human contact became to much. No heart was meant to hurt this much. And so, sitting in the back row of her fourth period math class she decided to end her life. As soon as she made the decision, she felt better. All the pain would be gone. She could end everything and no one would even miss her. As she walked out to the hall after class a guy brushed against her, and her backpack spilled everywhere. She crawled on her hands and knees among the students walking past, truing to pick up the papers as everyone walked over them. 'This is just like my life,' she thought. She looked up from picking up the last paper and saw a girl watching her. She waited for her to laugh, and make fun of her. But she didn't do either. She just watched. And then she smiled. The girl looked behind her, thinking that she had been smiling at someone else. But there was no one behind her. Had the smile been meant for her?
 She went home, meaning to end her life. But she couldn't get that smile out of her head. One person cared enough about her to smile. She would wait another day.  After math she searched the halls.There she was. And there, again, she smiled! The girl couldn't believe it. All the rest of the school year, it became their little ritual. They never spoke, but that one smile was enough to keep the girl going another day. School ended, and the girl's prospects slowly became brighter. But she never saw the other girl again. That girl will never know that she saved a life, one smile a day. Just a smile. But it was enough.
 This is a true story. The other night I heard Kim Meeder speek, and she told this story. The girl in the story  is now a dear friend of hers.
 It made me think. What about you. Do you look to the outcasts, the loners, and say "Hi?" I have had a huge thing happening with me and God on how I see people. I had met this girl, and been initially turned off by her because she seemed aloof, and not very friendly. But then I heard her story, and realized how scared she was to ever trust people because of past experience. It made me stop and realize how much I judge people without knowing their story. I do that way more often than I'd like to admit. What about you? Even if it's just giving someone the benefit of the doubt, it makes such a huge difference. One smile can save a life.
 So what about you? Do you want to save a life?


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