I got my second picture of the little girl that I sponsor overseas the other day. It made me smile from ear to ear when I saw it. Over the years I have sponsored several children through the organization, Children International and I have always been amazed at the difference between the first picture I get and the second.
In the first picture I am always shocked by what I see. There is a gauntness in their cheeks that speaks of too many nights going to bed with not enough to eat. There is a hollowness in their eyes that reflects days spent in sickness and misery. There is no smile on their lips because there is no smile in their hearts. Instead their faces are full of fear and hopelessness. It is like their lives are over before they have even begun. When I get the second picture, though, my heart always leaps for joy in my chest when I see how they have changed. Their cheeks are full and well fed. Their eyes sparkle with joy and laughter. Their smiles are huge because their hearts are full of happiness and love. Their faces look so beautiful because the fear has fled and been replaced by hope. It like their lives have begun anew.
I remember once after I gave a few dollars to a homeless person, a skeptical friend asking me if it was really worth the effort. "Yes it is!," I said. "It is always worth it!" Now as I look down on those two faces of my little sponsor child my answer is the same. It is always worth it to give. It is always worth it to love. It is always worth it to help another person. The smallest smile, the tiniest gift, the littlest act of kindness can change another's life forever.
Don't pass up an opportunity to change a life. Don't pass up a chance to make this world a better place. Give your time. Give your talents. Give your love. Give of yourself and make another smile. Give from your heart and let God smile through you.