I had written in February (Be careful of the appearances you give…2/10/09) about becoming aware of how I seem to appear to others to be always busy and how that contributes to the appearance of unapproachability to people. It’s been on my mind more and more. There have been at least 4-5 times recently at church when I was going from a classroom to the office or delivering attendance folders to classes that someone would simply say to me, “Smile!” I have decided that I must have a “determined” countenance that looks overly stern or uninviting to others. I have noticed in recent months a very deep vertical line above the bridge of my nose that probably has arisen from prolonged squinting of my eyebrows, perhaps from working at the computer or from driving.
How do I change this? Is it just a habit? Is it really a problem or just a nagging fear? Am I overly preoccupied with tasks and insensitive to the needs of people?
I recently had to have some sun-damaged spots treated at the dermatologist’s office and, while there I asked him about the cost of Botoxing out the deep vertical line to give my face a more relaxed look. $200 every 4-6 months is not something I would even begin to give consideration to in order to look more relaxed.
Proverbs 15:13: “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face….” But does the absence of cheerfulness on the face necessarily indicate that the heart is NOT joyful! I am very joyful in the work that I do. I just want those who observe me to know that it is joyful work and not a burden in any way!
Ecclesiastes 8:1 : ” A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.” Maybe I need to pray for wisdom, not for wisdom’s sake alone but for the serendipitous benefit to the face!
If you catch me deep in thought or in a determined task-oriented mode, remind me to smile!