Crooked. Wonky. Beautiful.

A smile costs nothing but gives much.  It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give.  It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.  None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it.  Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.  Some people are too tired to give you a smile.  Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.  ~Author Unknown

 

 

There’s something almost magical about watching a face transform, moving from straight lines to curves. Smiles do more than brighten the space around them. They tell stories. They are reminders. They are roadmaps.

When I smile, things go right. Literally. My nose goes just a little crooked and my mouth goes just a little wonky. That’s because in fourth grade, while playing in the backyard of a friend down the street, his little sister did her best Babe Ruth, using a golf club like a baseball bat. I was standing behind her. I remember the impact, remember the pain, remember wondering if I would ever be able to smile again. For years, the left side of my face just didn’t move well. I adopted a quirky little straight-ish grin to hide the awkward angle. I covered my mouth or looked away when I laughed so people couldn’t see the tilt.

I carried that one painful moment like a banner for so many years, allowing it to rob me of a million more moments. I thought my imperfection would rob others of their moments – that a smile needed to be perfect to pass on.

But I’ve learned that that’s simply impossible. Everybody is beautiful when they wear a smile – even crooked, wonky ones. In fact, the smiles that are the most striking are those worn by people who have found – or perhaps are still finding –  joy in the imperfection. They are the ones who aren’t afraid to let the world see the laugh lines and crow’s feet, the teeth that aren’t quiet straight or pearly white, or the curve that moves just a little more to one side than the other.  Those smiles have taught me to celebrate my smile. When those smiles are shared with someone, listen closely. You’ll hear the gentle whisper.

“You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Even that smile. Joy makes everything beautiful.”

Give a perfectly imperfect smile to someone today. Receive theirs. Hear the whisper. You are beautiful.

This entry was posted in grace, kindness, life, Musings and Thoughts and tagged , , , by Ronne Rock. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ronne Rock

Ronne Rock’s heart finds its strongest beat where beauty and pain collide – because hope always finds us in the shattered places. There’s more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience in her bones, and she finds great joy in sharing leadership wisdom as a regular contributor to Orange Leaders and QARA. But more often than not these days, she's with the vulnerable in difficult places around the world, gathering stories that change stories. Find Ronne's words in "For You, Love" the prayer journal that invites you to respond, and in Everbloom, a collection of stories from the Redbud Writers Guild. She is currently writing, "Building Eden: Principles of a Grace-Filled Leadership that Restores and Redeems." 

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7 thoughts on “Crooked. Wonky. Beautiful.”

  1. I grew up with a (huge) space between my front teeth that drew very unwanted attention during my teen years. It didn’t help that I was also skinny & dark complected..(not in vogue back then). I tried not to smile in front of people because I feared their jokes and laughter…but my heart always knew it needed to be free. Well..I had the space corrected in my early 20’s, (and thankful for it) but the best part..that would be coming to realize that the lessons God taught me through a space in my teeth, would be of far greater value..than my now perfect ones. Today, it feels like I smile all the time…even when no one sees it…:) Thank you, Ronne, for this lovely, smiley post! Love it!

    1. Oh, did I mention I also sucked my finger as a child so I had a really bad overbite? And I was super-skinny AND extremely nearsighted? Oh girl, I think we would have been best friends!

  2. Wait! Come to think of it, I don’t know if my bite was over or under! All I know is, my lower jaw got set back where it belonged! 🙂

  3. yup. i’m there. i grew up being told i was ugly. i was scrawny, had a lot of bad hair days, crooked teeth, nearsighted, and i had a deep voice.

    it got so bad, that if i played with barbies, i could not look in the mirror for a couple days.

    at one point, i decided that i couldn’t do anything about my looks, so i needed to focus on the person i was inside. if i was beautiful there, that was what would endure.

    i am grateful that God gave me that insight. as an adult, i still fight hearing that voice telling me how worthless and ugly i am, but i can counter that now with ‘but i am a daughter of God, and that makes me beautiful!’

  4. Amen and amen and amen, R2! So mine was a 7 Iron to the left eyebrow. The scar is still there if you look closely, but MAN did it hurt….at least it hurt after I regained consciousness! Add that scar to a bigger one on my chin (bike accident at 8, that also dislocated my jaw so IT was wonky for several years) Dumbo-style ears and persistent baby fat…….wow. I wasn’t the fastest, strongest or smartest (THAT’S for certain!) so I compensated by trying to be the funniest…and most helpful and most nauseatingly nicest….sometimes I even succeeded. I think. I often wonder how we survived our childhood. But even at that age I new God loved me. Just as I would My grandmother and mother told me so and I believed them. And that made it all OK….mostly, anyway. And I was also blessed to have their love, as well….unchanging, irrefutable, unconditional……and that modeled Christ’s love so beautifully. R2 your testimony is so incredibly powerful. And to see how God is using you is truly awe-inspiring. Thank you for your transparency, for sharing you considerable talents and most of all, for sharing the love of Christ in all that you do. You truly do Rock…. x 2 🙂

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