The Sun in Your Smile

So I try to make the light in others’ eyes my sun, the music in others’ ears my symphony, the smile on others’ lips my happiness. – Helen Keller

This statement was the final, beautifully hopeful line in chapter twenty-two of “The Story of My Life” (You should read the full example of her Poetic Prose). As I read her story, I have to remind myself that she was both deaf and blind – she played chess, loved sailing, enjoyed theater, devoured Shakespeare, and savored nature. Helen Keller drank fully of life – her disabilities made her thirst, but she never allowed them to keep her thirsty.

But this quote isn’t about her; it’s about you and me. She’s talking about our eyes, our ears, and our smiles. She might have been blind, but Helen Keller could see.

I wonder how many times one of our “sympathetic” looks have eclipsed the sun in the life of the person we set our eyes upon.

Can they tell the conductor of our symphony is reading the wrong music, creating an audible mess where melodic beauty should reign?

How many happy days have we soured with the frowns of our vicarious sadness?

Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept! – Song of Solomon 1:6

This woman spent her youth working in vineyards, being repeatedly burned by the sun. Now she’s struggling with her worth because she doesn’t appear Normal. How many of us share her burden? If not sun damaged skin, maybe it’s our size, our weight, our mobility, our left arm, our inarticulate speech – something that sets us apart, makes us different, doesn’t qualify as Normal.

Doesn’t it feel good to receive a smile? Who doesn’t love to see the sun in another’s eyes? Can’t you tell when someone is listening to God’s symphony?

When we meet one of God’s extraordinary ones, do they see the sun, or is it eclipsed? Do we provide a momentary symphony, or are we a resounding gong? When they leave our presence, do these lyrics play in their mind?

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a sun in somebody else’s sky, but why. Why, why can’t it be, can’t it be mine? – Eddie Vedder

Why can’t it be theirs? Only you can answer that question.

Helen was blind, so we might call her abnormal. However, Normal is what makes us the truly blind ones. We’ll all have a beautiful life, when we remove Normal’s blinders and gaze upon the World Beautiful, and we smile.

Will you be the sun in someone’s sky today?


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