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the twinkle in the eye
About ten years ago, one of the simplest sermons I ever heard was delivered by a friend in church. It was a fifteen minute sermon which has lasted more than ten years in my heart. I have asked some people who were in that meeting that morning and they still remember too.
He said, "Be nice." He likened holiness to being "nice," saying, Be nice to someone today, and each day of this week. Smile. Say Hi! And pay attention when someone smiles at you. Smile back.
A smile is not really about showing teeth or opening mouth wide! There is a twinkle in the eye which is the same as a smile. It is not even in the eye; it is more than that. I would say it is more in the Spirit! I have seen it in people as I have traveled a lot. And people have told me they saw it in me too.
Recently I was involved in a course as one of the trainers. As an experienced trainer and facilitator one of the most important things is to get "feedback" from your class - from those under training. The process begins long before the class starts.Eyes lock, student and trainer, they search both directions and give feedback.
Our class was over and I walked to Paxina and asked her about the twinkle in her eye. I am not sure what you are talking about, she replied. Yes, I told her, it is deep in there, I see it. Tell me about it. Confidently she began to explain her fear of statistics and the whole area of Monitoring and Evaluation. She said, "I feel a release today because you explained it so well and made it sound simple to me."
Then there was David. I approached him too and asked him about the twinkle in his eye. Denying it at first, he explained to me, "This place is a spiritual place. That is how I feel today. I feel as if I have just made a discovery." I asked him what the significance of such a discovery would mean to him, knowing it was indeed a spiritual place, a Christian Mission. He told me, "It explains why many programs work well here. A spiritual place is an ideal place for learning."
A twinkle in the eye is more than a smile, it is a spark in the spirit. It is generated by the excitement of a deep discovery, an escape from the absurdities of temporal life into the mind of God. A smile, a twinkle, and yes, holiness; be nice.