And anyone can do it. What you say? Well, you’ll have to wait in suspense just a little longer because first I need to tell you about Kim Kaercher. It all connects, don’t worry. I met Kim many years ago when she was 15 or so in a youth group I was volunteering with and slowly got to know her over the next few years. Now as we all know, teenage girls can be a bit on the dramatic side, letting anyone within literal or virtual earshot know when life like omigosh totally sucks. While that can be occasionally entertaining for youth group staff, Kim’s approach to conversation was different, and it set her apart from many of her peers.
Instead of wailing the world’s woes, Kim smiled. A lot. Not in a fake “I’m pretending everything’s perfect” way. Not in an “I’m trying to tolerate you until you stop talking to me” way. And certainly not in a freaky scary clown sort of way. She had bad days, she got bogged down, and she underwent her fair share of drama, but whenever you got the privilege of chatting with her, she was smiling.
And a smile is a very powerful thing. Because it’s not an automatic requirement of human interaction, both the smiler and the smilee know that the former approves enough of or cares enough about the latter to voluntarily show them. Let’s admit it, when you’re walking out in public and someone genuinely (not creepily!) smiles at you, it’s a good—sometimes startlingly good—thing! It reminds you, and whoever you take the time to smile at, that there are good and kind people out there and that they value you in some perhaps not-so-small way. And we all need that reminder, especially in the mud and rain. So Kim, thanks for you and your smile every time I see you! 🙂 Backatcha.
Somebody you know always has a smile ready, and it’s definitely helped you through some badness. Heal their hereafter by thanking them…and then by smiling back!
I like to share whatever’s important to people I have gratitude for, and one of those things for Kim is International Justice Mission. IJM is a financially efficient and uniquely effective organization via their focus on improving legal aid and infrastructural needs for the oppressed. Kim particularly has a heart for those trapped in the sex-trafficking industry, and the way IJM impacts the local government, the police presence, and legal systems of these victim’s environment is making a difference, which is why it happens to be one of the charities the proceeds of Healing Hereafter will be donated to as well! Learn more here!