Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

Jane the visitor

40 Reflections: 40 days of raw recollections during the Lenten Season

No. 13

So Jane my daily visitor came by herself this morning to say good morning. I have to admit it brought tears to my eyes when I received her hug. Maybe I’m just old, sensitive, and/or tired, but it was endearing.

“Flying solo today Jane?” I quickly rephrased for someone under ten years old, “By yourself today?”

“Yes I am!” she responded confidently, a smile hanging on her words. Her hug was strong, intentional, and true.


Off she skipped to the next stop with her bottomless backpack overflowing with love.

99% of the time I dig too deep and overanalyze. Turning moments, events, and even glances inside out, like a cat squirming to find a comfortable spot.

This time it’s warranted. Jane’s spirit is what I pray all young children are able to discover in themselves. Their ability to be confident, caring, warm, and wise.

This is a young girl who was not told to go out and seek tired adults in the mornings and deliver hugs, nor was she taught to wait in the hallway until you arrive to ensure you got a glimpse of her big toothless smile. Jane is innately loving. (But I’m willing to bet her parents are pretty amazing like her).

I read somewhere that the “Duchenne smile” (named for a french physician who pioneered modern neurology) is an expression that signals true enjoyment. Basically, the muscles of the corners of your mouth lift your cheeks and crinkle your eyes at the corners making for a sincere, trustworthy grin. That’s Jane’s smile.

She makes every day better for so many.

Find your Jane smile and share it, maybe throw in a hug. Trust me. It’s worth it.

Pray for Ukraine.

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