smiles are free

there are days i open my eyes and think, ok lord, there’s a reason your woke me up again today. what is it? surely it’s not to live another day single, frustrated with my job, and ready to give the world the finger. i imagine he smiles (or maybe frowns at the middle finger reference) and says to Himself, i have a plan for you that is greater than you can imagine…trust Me.

i swing my legs over the side of the bed and stumble into my on-suite to wake up and wash up. i lace up my fuschia brooks sneakers, grey workout pants, and FLOURISH hoodie, start my NIKE app, and with a 3lb weight in each hand i head out the door for my 2.25 mile walk.

i pass the same houses daily and with pandora gospel 2017 in my ears i pray for the neighborhood, the kids, parents, couples, teachers. for the police office that just passed me, that he will make it back home to his family that evening. i pray for the hearts and minds of the kids to be receptive to learning. i pray for the Lord to help us to be neighborly, to lift the darkness and replace it with His light. i’ve been doing this walk for about 3 weeks now and i endeavor to continue. it’s part of my journey to health, wellness, a spiritual growth. my desire is to be visible in my community, to meet my neighbors, to invite them to walk with me, to build connections to people i may not otherwise meet.

in the last few days i have passed by an elderly black woman hunched over a walker gingerly making her way down the sidewalk.  i’ve seen her twice now and each time i greet her and she responds in kind. there is no way to measure the gift of a smile, a kind word, or a simple “good morning” but there is a joy that is stirred up when such a gesture is reciprocated.

i am convinced that people i don’t even know are watching, that they see me walking and if i give up i may prevent them from ever starting. so despite the weather and my desire to stay in bed, i rise daily continuing to ask God to answer Jeremiah 29:11. until He does i try to be present in every moment and look for opportunities to exchange a smile, a hello, a hug because we all need that and it doesn’t cost a thing.


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