"Peace begins with a smile."
Grocery store outings are not always the most peaceful events of our day, but once we have "debated" the necessity of my son sitting in the cart rather than running along side it, pushing it, and filling it, we are usually ready for the business at hand. After accepting his sitting duty, my Little Guy likes to wave at people from his little perch in the cart. He waves and smiles, and sometimes people wave and smile back. Sometimes they don't, and I see a confused look cross his features. I try to explain to his almost two-year-old brain that not everyone smiles back, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't smile in the first place. (Silently I pray that this is not a lesson he will need to teach his own children, that their smiles will always be returned and valued.) Other times, he giggles to a fellow customer who looks a little down, and with his hearty hello the hardened facade melts from the worn face, and the corners of the down-turned mouth tug upward. And so we continue until our work is done, his and mine.
The church down the street from where I live has posted this idea on their welcome sign for a few weeks now. I have noticed it many times, but I never really thought about it until I reflected on our trips to the grocery store.
It's easy to slip into despair when we see all that goes on around us. I look down at the cart and see the big toothy grin that glows with optimism and hope. Peace begins with a smile. I wonder, what great things will he see and do?