The drone of the alarm clock was followed by the groan of Eva St. Clair. “Lord, do I have to get up and face all the grumpy, grouchy people that inhabit my days? At least give me a scripture in my breakfast devotional that will make some sense of my dreary days.”
As Eva poured milk over her cereal, she poured a bit into her coffee. Settling down to breakfast, she opened her devotional book. This morning it seemed she looked forward to her spiritual food more than she did to her physical food.
“’Rejoice, and again I say rejoice.’ That’s it, Lord? You’re telling me that no matter what happens in my world today and no matter who I meet, you want me to rejoice?”
The still, small voice said, “Rejoice, smile, be happy and then do it again!”
“That’s not going to be easy with the people I come into contact with, Lord. Their frowns seemed permanently imbedded on their faces. You’ve got to help me; you’ve got to show me the way.”
Eva quickly brushed her teeth, gathered her purse and lunch and headed out the door. “Oh gosh, Lord, there’s my first contact of the day.”
Mr. Beavers shuffled down the sidewalk, walker in front of him, his face turned to the ground. He was the dourest person she knew. “Good morning, Mr. Beavers. It is a beautiful day, and I’m so glad to see you out in it.”
Mr. Beavers stopped and looked at the day around him, obviously noticing it for the first time. Also, for the first time ever he looked Eva directly in the eyes and said, “It is beautiful. I hadn’t noticed. I’m glad I’m out in it too.”
Eva could see the bus coming when she reached her bus stop. When she stepped onto the bus, she was followed by an exhausted looking woman with a toddler in her arms. The child looked restless and feverish. “Please let me pay for your ride, Ma’am.” Eva said smiling into the lady’s tired eyes.
“Thank you so much. Jimmy’s been awake almost all night. I’m taking him to the doctor.” She said as she slumped into her seat. She nodded her head onto Jimmy’s and closed her tired eyes, but a small smile touched her lips.
When Eva reached her office, she approached the door the same time as Dumpy Dora, as some people called her. “Wow!” Eva said.
Suspiciously Dora asked, “Wow, what?”
“That outfit you have on.” Dora looked down. “That is one fine looking outfit!”
Dora looked down again. “You really think so,” she asked?
“I do!” Eva noted Dora straightening her posture and holding her head erect with a small, but pleased smile.
When she entered her office, she saw that Camilla, the receptionist had her back to the door. Before Camilla could turn around and snap at her, as she always did, Eva said, “Camilla, I’m going to get a Cappuccino, please let me get you one.”
Camilla swung around and stammered, “Well, that would be nice. Please get me an English Toffee Cappuccino. Nice of you to ask.”
After delivering Camilla’s Cappuccino, Eva made her way to her desk. People kept saying, “There’s something different about you today. Have you changed your hairstyle?”
There was seldom a person all day who did not return Eva’s smile. The day passed quicker than any she had known for a long time.
The bus ride home was more of the same thing: smile attracting smile.
She was mulling over her day when she crawled into bed. “Lord, this was an amazing day. I’ve not seen a day like this for a long time. You asked me to rejoice, smile, be happy and then do it again. I did that all day long, and the change in people was amazing. They gave back to me what I gave to them.
“Oh! Oh Lord, I’m think I’m beginning to understand what you’ve been teaching me this day. For months, people gave back to me what I gave to them, which was grumpiness and grouchiness. Forgive me, Father! And thank you for teaching me how to create a world that I want to live in.”
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