My daddy was much of a man. He was strong, tough, and hard working. I enjoyed being with Daddy, and especially riding with him in his truck. I liked to watch Daddy wave to everybody he met. You see Daddy didn’t wave like some by sticking up his pointer finger or all fingers. Daddy gave those he met more than that. He saluted them. I can still see his calloused hands, hardened by his years of carpentry work, clasping the steering wheel. Daddy had both hands on the steering wheel with his right hand positioned about the two o’clock hour. When we met a car Daddy took his hand off the wheel, raised it a bit, brought it toward him about four inches, and then thrusting it outward, he saluted those we met along the way. He didn’t have to know them. Everybody that met Daddy received a salute. Daddy was friendly. It showed in his salute and in his manner of life.
It’s a good thing to be friendly. It’s good for our health. A friendly person smiles. wiki How.com had this tip on smiling: “Smiling changes people’s mood. When you’re feeling sad, smile. Your mood will become happier. Smiling tricks the body into changing your mood for the better – even if you’re faking the smile initially. Just smile every time that you are sad, and you will be healthier overall.”
The Bible talks about the importance of being friendly. Proverbs 18:24 says “A man that would have friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Someone else said, “Strangers are simply friends you haven’t met.”
Jack Exum often quoted the following poem by an unknown author while preaching:
You don’t have to tell how you live each day;
You don’t have to say if you work or you play;
A tried, true barometer serves in the place–
However you live, it will show in your face.
The false, the deceit that you bear in your heart,
Will not stay inside where it first got a start;
For sinew and blood are a thin veil of lace–
What you wear in your heart, you wear in your face.
If your life is selfless, if for others you live,
For not what you get, but how much you can give;
If you live close to God in his infinite grace–
You don’t have to tell it, it shows in your face.
Daddy’s salute was his way of being friendly, his way of smiling to those he met. Oh, to see that salute one more time…