Slideshow image

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
– Mother Teresa

One of the things having to mask up at present is making me miss are smiles. In giving us the idea for this daily blog through Advent, Bill Tarter talked of seeing the God in the smile of a child, but as I reflect I realise that any smile offers a glimpse of the Divine. The Dalai Lama says, "A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.” which, is in so many ways how the Divine is made present - the compassion and affection we hold others in and give out to those around.

In the first days of this pandemic, as we were just getting used to keeping physical distance from one another, I experienced more people smiling, seeking to make connection even as touch was impossible. It's not so frequent now, and many more are masked even when outside, but people still offer smiles as we remember that we are all in this together.

Earlier this week I was chatting to a friend who said that he has been working hard to make his eyes more expressive in the absence of people being able to see the whole of his face. I am glad that my crow's feet make it obvious that I am smiling beneath my mask. But still, i look forward to the day when we can once again 'with unveiled faces' smile freely at one another.

I smiled on them when they had no confidence;
   and the light of my countenance they did not extinguish.  Job 29.24

Alastair Singh-McCollum