You Are Responsible For Your Face
"After a certain number of years our faces become our biographies." - Cynthia Ozick
Sometimes I need to ask myself, "Does my face draw people to me or does it drive them away?"
One thing I've learned, if I am dwelling on something negative, it shows on my face. This happened to me a few times at work while walking down the hall. I would be thinking of a negative situation, and a co-worker would pass me and say, "Smile, Lea!"
At this point in my life I have not had a green light to give a personal testimony of my grim, dismal days before I knew about God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. However, I will share this one small account:
During my teen years, before I became a Christian, I was a selfish, self-centered, attention-seeking individual. Even my kindergarten picture has a scowl on my face! I have a sister who acted the same way.
Our grandmother, who was raising us, felt her "angels" could do no wrong. However, society is different. Society will not accept those who are wrapped up in themselves. My sister and I literally drove away every friend we had. It was a hard lesson. However, by the time we entered college, we learned about, and accepted, the salvation of Jesus Christ. It was then He began to work in our lives, and a transformation started to take place.
Over the years I've discovered God can take negative, sullen individuals and transform them into the persons He created them to be. Most important, I learned alot about my countenance and how facial expressions can have an enormous effect on others.
The other day I was walking through the parking lot at a local grocery store. A woman driving down one of the isles slowed to let a male pedestrian cross in front of her. I would say he was in his early fifties, with a mustache, and he had both hands in his blue jean jacket pockets.
This man's countenance was angry. He deliberately stopped walking, and he stood in front of the car's right headlight. He then glared at the lady. After about thirty seconds, he walked very slowly, on purpose, to hold her up.
How many times have I witnessed the scenerio of customers allowing pedestrians to cross in front of them in parking lots and forgotten all about it? However, this particular man? I will never forget his face, his actions nor the negative karma he manifested.
Here is one more example I witnessed at the same grocery store:
I was in the "8 items or less" Express Lane with about seven items. I turned around to see a young man approach the line right behind me. He only had a bag of Werther's Original Carmel Chocolate candies. I immediately noticed his facial expression was one of patience and contentment. No sign of annoyance.
I greeted him with a smile, and I said, "You only have one item. Would you like to go ahead of me?"
His face lit up like a Christmas tree! He said, "Yes! I am late for work, and I would SO MUCH appreciate it!"
I let him ahead of me, and he paid for the candy. He then stopped. He opened the bag of candy, and he handed one to the cashier and one to me. With one of the most beautiful, heart-felt expressions of gratitude, he looked into my eyes and said, "THANK YOU!"
I actually felt sad when I watched him leave the store. Sharing the story with my sister, I said, "I felt as if I was in the presence of Jesus Christ...he was so extremely kind."
Although I will probably never see this man again, I still have the piece of candy he gave me in my desk drawer to remind me that there ARE so many people out there who bring joy to others just by their countenance, their smile, or even what they say to strangers.
Both of the above incidences are extremely memorable to me - both because of facial expressions.
Although I can't prove it, I believe the countenance on the faces of these two men had to do with what they were thinking about.
What an eye-opener!
Quite often I will sit on a bench at our annual New York State Fair, or at the Mall, and just watch the expressions on the faces of those who walk by. I also check out people while sitting at a red light in the car. I can almost immediately tell if they are happy, sad or bitter.
Another discovery I have made: During my morning walks, while watching the sun rise, if I focus on these words, "Be still and KNOW that I am God" the result is total peace and contentment within. This certainly has a positive effect on my countenance.
To summarize, my countenance says it all. It is important to always smile when I greet my husband after work, my friends, even strangers I pass on my morning walks. Not to mention clerks, waiters, waitresses, anyone outside my home whom I happen to encounter today.
After all, I am responsible for my face.
Very Sincerely, Sparklea :)