In London, in 1872, one Sunday morning a minister said to me, “I want you to notice that family there in one of the front seats, and when we go home I want to tell you their story.” When we got home I asked him for the story, and he said, “All that family were won by a smile.” “Why,” said I, “how’s that?” “Well,” said he, “as I was walking down a street one day I saw a child at a window; it smiled, and I smiled, and we bowed. So it was the second time; I bowed, she bowed. It was not long before there was another child, and I had got in a habit of looking and bowing, and pretty soon the group grew, and at last, as I went by, a lady was with them. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to bow to her, but I knew the children expected it, and so I bowed to them all. And the mother saw I was a minister, because I carried a Bible every Sunday morning. So the children followed me the next Sunday and found I was a minister. And they thought I was the greatest preacher, and their parents must hear me. A minister who is kind to a child and gives him a pat on the head, why the children will think he is the greatest preacher in the world. Kindness goes a great way. And to make a long story short, the father and mother and five children were converted, and they are going to join our church next Sunday.”
Won to Christ by a smile! We must get the wrinkles out of our brows, and we must have smiling faces.
D. L. Moody, D. L. Moody’s Child Stories Related by Him in His Revival Work, ed. J. B. McClure (Chicago: Rhodes & McClure, 1877), 72-75.