Courageous Smiles

Tammy De Ruyter

Read: John 12:1-2

So they gave a dinner for him there. (v. 2)

The young man walked into the sterile white room. On the hospital bed, frail and fragile, lay Eva. “It’s amazing who they let into this place!” she greeted him with eyes twinkling. “Want to guess how many tiles are on that ceiling?” she asked glancing upward.

“No, Grandma,” the young man replied grinning, catching her dry sense of humor, “how many?” “Forty-eight. I’ve been counting them for hours and there are still forty-eight.”

How do you face tough times? Ninety-four-year-old Eva faced her impending departure with playful expectancy. Some days were hard, but she anticipated the reunion with her beloved husband and an eternity in the presence of God.

In John 12, Jesus is sitting at the table. Several are gathered. Lazarus has joined them. It seems to have been a solemn occasion; after all, Lazarus has just been resurrected from the dead, and Jesus knows what his own future holds. Later in this chapter, the chief priests plot to put Lazarus to death as well. Their hearts were probably filled with colliding emotions. Still, in the presence of friends and family there is warmth. I can imagine that they conversed throughout the evening—talking, sharing, crying, and smiling—not with hilarious laughter, but with a warm-flowing notion of things yet to come. Even in the midst of adversity, we too can face the future with a courageous smile. — Tammy De Ruyter

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the warming presence of family and friends!