Full-Blown Smile

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Dear Friends of IVC,

Before you read further I’d like to ask you to stop for a minute and think of a moment that brought a sudden, immediate full-blown smile to your face.  Seeing an old friend after a long time, hearing a purely intelligent joke, looking at something of great beauty.

Recall that moment now.  Can you remember the rush of joy and gratitude you felt?

My daughter had one last week.  She was rushing around, in a bit of a tizzy getting ready for work, pulling together a lunch, searching for car keys, tossing everything into her tote in a mad dash to the door. I heard this ritualistic commotion from the kitchen.  Then I heard “Oh!!  Wow. Beautiful!”  Then silence.  I peeked out.  I saw her standing motionless in awe with a huge smile.  She was stopped dead in her tracks as the brilliant morning sun was just at the right angle to hit the gold colors of the trees in the front yard in such a way you thought it was HD TV.  Swathed in surreal colors as she stood in silence for just that gasp. The smile on her face said it was a moment of perfect prayer.

She proceeded to the car with the most beautiful smile on her face.  That brought about an immediate full-blown smile to my face and my spirit.

In the story below you’ll see two such smile-induced prayers as a client and volunteer see one another after a hiatus.  That joy and connection of two people—each one in service to the other for different reasons—is grace-filled.

Not all days are sun-shiny beautiful; some are just tiresome and weary.  Moments in life are hard and challenging and for many people working to overcome poverty, it can be that way most of the time.  But the gift of light and hope we can bring to one another is real grace in action.

May your Thanksgiving season be one that brings full-blown smiles to your face often as you recall the many gifts you have been given by a loving God through moments of grace. Know that all of us at IVC have full-blown smiles when we think of you and will be praying for you in a special prayer of gratitude.  We will be lifting you up for the support and service you give so that others may experience moments of full-blown smiles of grace as they serve and are served through IVC.

With gratitude,

Mary