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Along Twin Ponds Road

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By Ray Willis

How many times in the past few days, weeks or even months, has your day been made brighter because someone took the time to greet you or flash a warm smile first thing in the morning?

I know that most of you work or are going to school and really are not in a position or location for such an even to occur or may not even have a chance to greet family members in a loving manner.

Last week on my way to Twin Ponds Road, which is usually around 6 a.m., one of my female neighbors bid me a good morning.  She shared that she enjoyed reading my column.

Her kind words and smiling face had just made my day.  I glided on air the rest of the way over to my walking route.  

A few days later I met another of my distant neighbors, Christine.  She always has a friendly smile.  We stopped for a brief moment and exchanged greetings then went on our separate ways.  In fact, I ran into Christine again this morning.  It was nice.  Of course, the heat wave that we’re experiencing here on the Panhandle was our topic.  How great to be at that age in my life where I am fortunate enough to be able to indulge myself in things such as early morning walks.

I have always been taken in by a friendly face and/or a warm greeting, especially the first thing in the morning.  It just warms my soul.

Do you remember when President George H.W. Bush was running for re-election  when he promised that he would do his utmost to lead us to a “kinder, gentler America?”  Right!

New England was a wonderful place to grow up, go to school and to work.  However, in general, I have found people not as friendly as in other places in the country I’ve lived.

I could write volumes of examples where I would greet someone, anyone, and have my smile or greeting either ignored or returned with an actual scowl.  That’s right, folks, I relocated after retirement to be around friendlier, more God-loving people not afraid to express it.

No matter where I have lived or visited in North Carolina, Hawaii or Florida, I encounter on a daily basis more smiling, friendly people only too willing to exchange a greeting with me.

One of my most favorite smiling and friendly faces will be disappearing soon.  Pastor Kevin Hall is leaving our church to accept a new ministerial position at a church in Wakulla County.  We at Lake Jackson UMC will miss Kevin’s winning smile, unique laugh and optimistic disposition.

I felt that he had not been himself for a couple of weeks, and he admitted during a sermon or two that he was a little more preoccupied with something going on in his life.  Oh, how visible it was.  But then, who of us walks around physically beaming 24/7.  I know I don’t.

I have been blessed, for I am married to the woman with the most winning and ready smile I have ever met.  I even get to serve her sweet tea each morning before my walk.  In return she flashes that golden smile and gives me kiss.

As Christians it becomes us to flash a ready smile; it’s expected of us.  First Peter 2: 11-12 helps us to remember that others are observing our lives and to be good representatives of Jesus Christ.  Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.”

I have been humming part of an anthem that our choir will be singing soon.  It is called “We Have One Faith.”  However, the phrase that I’ve been humming over and over is: We have one face. 

If that were truly the case, either in mine or yours, hopefully the face we are displaying will be a warm, and happy one to reflect our joy of being followers of Christ.

Do other see Jesus in you?

God bless you.