Three-Quarters of Your Smile

so a friend of mine told me last year, “relationships don’t happen how you plan. there are mess ups, mistakes, good times, and…it just doesn’t work how you plan.”

let’s broaden that. life doesn’t go how you plan. i am sitting right now in Tulsa at the laundromat on a Friday night. This laundromat doubles as a bar. Kind of an interesting deal because people usually want to get their clothes clean, but the smell in here is full of smoke. I’ve been here a few times. Sipping on my quiznos right now. I look over at the bar, and there are the usuals. Mostly guys with long stringy beards, well-past fifty. There are four of them who are always here. Then there’s the guy with the cowboy hat at the table on my left. He’s in a lot of chat rooms right now, and is sipping from the pitcher of beer. No glass needed tonight when there are piles of laundry, and it is Friday night. The jukebox is playing and it is all old crappy blues and country. Every once in a while, a sappy love-song from the nineties sounds through this building.

As I look around, I’m just thinking most people didn’t really plan on this. The guy in a bucket hat with no shirt on and just some swim trunks who is at the dryer. Everyone in here. I just don’t really believe that anyone in here planned this one out at 10, 15, or 20. “My future is a laundromat bar on Friday nights.” Or in some cases, every night.

Life doesn’t happen a whole lot of times the way we plan it out in our minds. Sometimes, life doesn’t even happen the way we live it out ourselves. Sometimes, we just run into a wall. Like run into a wall going really fast. Sometimes, that wall breaks our plans, and it breaks our hopes.

It hurts. We just kind of lie there, a broken mess on the floor, wondering what happened. And while we’re a broken mess lying on the floor completely jacked by our past, our shell walks around and smiles to people. Our shells do that thing…that smile that we’ve always done so that people won’t really know, but you can tell when you see three-quarters of a smile.

It is like the smile didn’t make it to the edges or into your eyes.

That is a tough place to live. Sometimes, we just try to keep life going…although we aren’t healed. We aren’t mended. We are still broken or torn.

So here is what I want to suggest. Take a little time. Or a long time. Take as long as you need. Place your heart and mind into the hands of God. Just place yourself there. Try to trust again even if it doesn’t make that much sense. And as you do, I look forward to the day when I see you smile completely.

You are meant for more than three-quarters of your smile.



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