As the group of Christian dancers gathered around the dinner serving area and helped themselves with soup and salad, I noticed Ellen waiting patiently at the side. She was wearing a noticeable wound dressing on her left temple. I had a chat with her, and found out that she has just had a minor surgery to remove her cancerous skin, probably a basal cell carcinoma or something like that.

Ellen shared that she could not smile this evening due to the wound. It’s not that she did not want to smile, but she could not smile because the pull on the skin will hurt too much. In fact, not only that she could not and should not smile right now, the doctor asked her not to lift heavy stuff with her left hand, because the use of muscles would connect back to the spot where she would feel painful.

Wow. It’s such a new learning for me. I have never paid attention to how intricately connected are our skins, muscles, and body parts. Even when we smile, so many muscles would be involved. An article on explaines that at least six pairs of muscles are directly involved in smiling: the levator anguli oris, levator labii superioris, orbicularis oculi, risorius, zygomaticus major, and zygomaticus minor.

How would I respond to this piece of information about smiling today? I definitely want to smile more! I would love to smile more frequently, and more gratefully… simply because smiles are favorable compliments to God’s design of the human body. A simple smile reflects God’s wonderful work in us, whether we realize it or not. Also, a smile blesses others, whether we intend it or not.

Ellen would start smiling again as soon as she got healed from her surgery. If you are able to smile without anything holding you back right now, why restrain yourself from smiling big, and smiling genuinely?  🙂


About Florence Kuek

Was lecturer and researcher at a state university. Currently serving as Head of Student Services at a college. Has a pastoral heart for people. PhD candidate, Chinese Studies at University of Malaya.
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