Remaining in the car was a little boy, about six years old, who looked as if he had been crying. Hoping to change his mood a bit, I flashed him my best and brightest smile. He didn’t smile back.
Undaunted by his lack of response, I smiled a second time.
Again, the little boy stood motionless, staring at me as though I had just arrived from outer space.
Not wanting to give up so easily, I smiled a third time.
To my dismay, the little boy kept scowling, as if to say: “You can’t make me smile, so quit trying.”
But I didn’t quit trying. I smiled again, unscathed.
After the fourth smile, the little boy ducked out of sight.
But not for long.
Unable to resist the cheerful lady in the dirty brown car, he inched his head up slowly until his eyes met mine. I smiled again, fully expecting him to duck again, but he didn’t. Instead, he opened his hand and showed me a nickel. A peace offering, perhaps?
Not a chance. Before the fifth smile ever left my face, the little boy hit the floorboard, more boisterous than ever.
About that time, the woman with the mixed up order returned. As soon as she got in the car, the little boy hopped up and sheepishly glanced my direction.
He seemed more relaxed than before, and I smiled a sixth time, hopeful. I wasn’t disappointed.
Not only did the little boy return my smile, he gave me a curt little wave as they backed out and drove away. I waved back, pleased that my persistence had finally paid off.
Once upon a time, my heavenly Father smiled at my cold and callous heart. Each time he smiled, I ducked for cover, saying, “You can’t make me smile, so quit trying.”
But my Father didn’t quit trying. He kept smiling my direction, hoping his prodigal child would come running home soon.
Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God."
It doesn't matter how bad we've been or how lost we are, our Father’s love persists and persists.
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