There is a value in simple things that is often overlooked. A simple smile, hug, or gesture of kindness can do much to influence and cheer. Too often I slide through life without ever thinking that I may have an impact on general society. As a sheltered Adventist girl who almost only goes about in conservative Adventist circles, it is easy for me to think that everyone always smiles, acts with polite courtesy, and loves their family, but on a recent trip to town I was reminded how rare it is for the world to see the genuine smile of a child of God.
My sister and I have always loved each other, even when we haven’t been very close. Since I have been away at boarding academy, however, we have grown inseparable. It is normal for us to walk together wherever we go: my arm around her shoulders, her arm around my waist. In addition, we are both very happy girls who have been greatly blessed by our Heavenly Father with bright, genuine smiles. As we were walking thus through a grocery store – arms around each other and faces beaming – we were observed by one of the cashiers. When we went up to the till to pay for our food, she asked, “Best friends?” “Sisters,” I replied proudly, and was surprised to see her taken aback. “You must really love each other,” she said, touched, “I could cry, I could go home and write a book about the sisters who hug.” My sister and I hadn’t done anything special by our terms, but we stood in stark contrast with the world around us.
Several times that day different people we came in contact with marveled at our relationship and our smiles. By simply being the girls God made us to be, we impacted the lives of people around us. I never would have thought that the relationship between my sister and me would have been noticeable, and in Adventist circles it likely would have been overlooked as normal, but to those who have not fully experienced the changing love of God in their lives, we stuck out like a lovely sort of sore thumb.
In 1 Peter 2:9 we are called to be a peculiar people so that we may give praise to the One who has shown us so much light. As people of God, we are chosen and called to stand out. Not to stand out so that we are noticed or looked down upon, but to stand out “that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). God has blessed us so much, and there are so many ways that we can bring Him glory. Little things like noticing when someone is feeling down, or loving when you are not loved in return. For my sister and me, it was living out the love that God has placed in our hearts. What little thing will you do to bring glory to your Father?