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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


Still Smiling

Dr. Richard Selzer once removed a tumor from a young woman’s face, which required the severing of a facial nerve and leaving one side of her mouth lifeless and crooked.  The surgeon was concerned about how the woman and her husband would respond to her “new” appearance.  He relates what happened this way:

Her husband is in the room.  He stands at the opposite side of the bed, and together, they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight.  Isolated from me, private.

Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry-mouth woman I have make, who gaze at each other, and touch each other generously, greedily?

The young woman speaks, “Will I always be like this?”  she asks.

“Yes”, I say.  “It’s because the nerve was cut,” I explained.

She nods and is silent.  But the young man smiles.  “I like it,” he says.  “It’s kind of cute.”

He bends to kiss her crooked mouth, and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate hers, to show that their kiss still works.  I remember that the angels sometimes appeared in Bible times as mortals, and I hold my breath and wonder.

Jesus calls us to see things sometimes from the world’s perspective and reach out to them with the Word.  Not a compromise, but a compassion.  Consider the words Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 9: 19-23, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a SERVANT to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without the law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak.  I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.  Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker of it with you.”

Tim Woodward, Evangelist
Smithville church of Christ