The Smile of Love


Our family had the complete privilege and joy of spending ten days together on a much anticipated Hawaiian vacation on the island of Maui. Our family was celebrating two  2016 mileposts – Julie turning a half a century and our fifteenth wedding anniversary!

Two days after our arrival the Dendy family arrived at slip #55 at the harbor to embark on a snorkeling adventure on the “Maui Magic.” We bounded on to the boat around 7:30 in the morning full of anticipation. Fresh fruit and muffins found their way on to my plate before the boat launched. My typical gregarious self was in full motion in meeting the awesome crew and other passengers. After getting our instructions and making sure the other forty passengers were safely on board, off we went to the island of Molokini!

About halfway to Molokini, my wife Julie asked for me to look for something underneath my seat. I bent my head over to look and quickly realized I would not be able to fulfill her request.

Although I had taken the prescribed two Dramamine before we left the dock, they were obviously not having the desired effect. My head was spinning and the motion on the ocean was sending me sideways. I stared off into the distance with my eyes permanently fixed on the horizon.

The strangest thing began to happen. I lost all sense of hearing. Or perhaps, better yet, I lost all sense of listening. Yes, I “heard” Julie and my son Joshua saying, “Are you okay? Would you like something to drink? Maybe you should move to the back of the boat!”, but I was paralyzed. I could not move and I could not answer anyone’s questions due to my overly intense fixation with the horizon. I was able to hear Joshua say about one hundred times, “How’s that horizon Dad?”

I became a real dud. I became someone I am not accustomed to becoming. Isolated. Turned inward. Unapproachable. Party Pooper!

Then Joshua touched me in an effort to show his sympathy. He might as well have stabbed me with a handful of newly purchased Ginsu kitchen knives! My skin crawled, I began to sweat and all I could do was look at that darn horizon, hoping and counting down the minutes until we arrived at Molokini.

We finally arrived and off we went to snorkel! It was fabulous! Yet, the motion of the ocean while snorkeling kept motioning and my stomach and head kept spinning.

After an hour of snorkeling at Molokini, off we went to Makena Landing, another incredible place to witness the creative genius of God’s creation through the life which exists under the sea.

Makena Landing had a beach. I swam as fast as I could toward the beach. I finally reached a place where I could reach the bottom and finally stand on solid ground. Once I did, I barfed six times in a row. I felt so much better for about two minutes…

Back to the boat I went after sitting on the beach for about thirty minutes. As I climbed up the ladder of the boat, the air was filled with the aroma of hamburgers on the grill. Great! Just what I needed!

We took off for home and I could not be more happy! I am still sick as a dog but at least we are heading for “terra firma”!

Ten minutes into the return trip I am leaning off the back of the boat barfing six more times! I became known to the crew as “The Barfing Pastor!”


Meet Jenna! (Pictured above!) Immediately upon getting our seats on the Maui Magic the Dendy family fell in love with Jenna!

Ebullient, excited, enthusiastic, engaging and full of energy describe Jenna to a T!

She is the quintessential crew member.

In my time of distress and being a real dud, she was faithful in her commitment to ensure I was okay, offering me Ginger Ale, extending an arm to escort me to the back of the boat and overall being generous in her care for an ailing “snorkeler.”

After I had my very intense “abdominal” workout at the back of the boat, I started feeling great. Julie could tell I was feeling better right away by the mere fact Jenna came to the back of the boat to check on me and I talked her ear off for the whole way back to dock.

Come to find out, Jenna and I have a mutual connection to one of her relatives in southern Oregon. Small world! I was feeling so well on the way back to the harbor Julie took a photo of Jenna and me (see above photo.)

You know what I love about Jenna’s gregarious and gigantic smile?

Her eyes!
Check out Jenna’s eyes…
I love how her eyes are almost completely closed when she smiles.

The scriptures declare,
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4: 8)

I wonder when Jenna smiled for this photo, with her smile from ear to ear and with her eyes closed, she no longer sees the “Barfing Pastor”, the party pooper, the dud on the boat, but rather her loving heart sees me for who I truly am…

I call it the “Smile of Love.”

I wonder if God has eyes like Jenna when He smiles…

I sure do hope so!

Laugh often and Fear not!

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