Follow up can mean many things to this Hands Free Mama, but in today’s case, I am going to “follow up” on one of the tactics for living Hands Free that I previously wrote about.
This week, my posts will be centering around The Power of a Question. I will be describing how questions have played a vital part in my Hands Free journey to grasp what really matters.
Today’s question is one you may have wondered if you have been following my blog. The question: Whatever happened with that?
I think it would be a huge disservice to my readers if I neglect to provide follow up on tactics I suggest or stories I share. While some of the Hands Free strategies I provide on my blog could be used only once, I strongly believe that the more you use them, the more you will gain.
Personally, I love when my readers contact me to let me know the result of a tactic they used or how a Hands Free experience turned out for them. So today I am doing that for you. It has to do with the post that contains the picture that has been clicked on the most number of times on my blog. It’s about the little girl with the broken smile.
This is my story…
In the post entitled, “Hands Free Evidence,” I described how my seven-year-old daughter chose “Priscilla” out of a large array of children from impoverished countries who needed an educational sponsor. I will never forget the reason she chose unsmiling Priscilla when there were a multitude of vivacious cherub faces with smiles that beckoned her to choose them instead.
My daughter lifted up the picture of this pitiful looking little girl and declared, “I want to give her a reason to smile.”
Whoever said we can’t learn from our children?
Well, my daughter mailed her introduction packet to Pricilla four months ago. Along with the letter, she lovingly packed other items while also abiding by Compassion International’s rules for paper gifts only.
About once a week for four months, my daughter asked if a letter has arrived from Priscilla.
After saying, “No, I am sorry, not today,” and seeing her dejected face, my husband and I were starting to think that involving our daughter so heavily in this sponsorship may have been a bad idea.
But the best things come to those who wait, I am constantly reminded.
Last week a letter from Pricilla arrived. It may as well have been a letter from Santa Claus himself by the look of pure joy and excitement on our daughter’s face.
We read through Pricilla’s letter that had been translated into English by her social worker.
Priscilla had answered the question posed by my daughter; we learned that her favorite color is pink, but “she likes to match red and white.”
She asked my daughter to pray that she (Priscilla) will become a good Christian and have good academic performance.
Priscilla offered prayers for my daughter to be blessed and protected throughout her life.
And Priscilla had enclosed a remarkably accurate picture of a tree and a bird.
But the part of the letter that my child held tightly in her hands and gazed at for a full two minutes was a recent picture of Priscilla.
For fourth long months, what my daughter thought about day and night was the status of Priscilla’s smile.
Next to her mother, the social worker, and a basket of fish they were selling to pay for educational materials stood Priscilla.
I watched as my daughter examined it closely and intently. I held my breath. I was not sure how my daughter would interpret the expression on Priscilla’s face. To my eyes, Priscilla still looked sad, dejected, and hopeless.
But then again, I was the one who would have chosen one of the happily smiling children to sponsor, not the girl with the broken smile.
After thorough examination, my daughter looked up beaming.
She excitedly exclaimed, “Look! She is smiling a little more than she was before!”
My other daughter and I looked closely. She was right. If you looked very closely, there was the slightest curve in her lower lip.
Most of us would have missed it.
Most of us would have argued that the term “smile” is not an accurate description of the position of her mouth.
Most of us would have never tried in the first place to create happiness on a face so deeply etched with sadness.
Most of us would have thought Priscilla was a hopeless cause.
But through the eyes of the seven-year-old girl who had purposely chosen this forlorn child to sponsor, a smile was detected. And I have learned that when it comes to matters of expression, my daughter sees far more than I do.
Whoever said you can’t learn anything from a child?
We had given our daughter a chance to sponsor a child in a poverty-stricken country. She had grasped this opportunity in ways we had never imagined.
She attempted something most of us would not; she attempted to make the unsmiling smile. And she was doing it, one tiny curve of the lips at a time.
Last night my daughter asked if I thought someday she might meet Priscilla.
I could only get a little excited just thinking of the prospect. I imagined my daughter grown into a beautiful young lady opening her arms to an equally beautiful young woman who had traveled all the way from Ghana to meet her. And on her face was a smile so big that no translation was needed. Her smile said: Thank you for choosing me and making it your life mission to bring a smile to my face.
I realized that while I was daydreaming, my daughter had been waiting for a response.
I looked into her hopeful face and I said, “Yes. Yes, I do believe it’s possible you will meet her someday. After all, you are making Priscilla smile. That makes me believe anything is possible.”
Then I wrapped my arms around this wise, compassionate, and thoughtful child and added, “And I have you to thank for teaching me that.”
What lessons has a child or your child taught you about grasping what really matters? If you can’t think of anything, try seeing through your child’s eyes. Try listening carefully to your child’s words. Start by providing an opportunity for your child to help someone else. It might instead become a lesson for you. Please click “share” below if you think this a message worthy of spreading.