Beauty.  Is there another word in the English language that is more difficult to define?  I think not.  Some say beauty is about symmetry. You know, “an imprecise sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing proportionality and balance; such that it reflects beauty or perfection.”  Sigh.  If I go by that definition, then I am not a beauty.  Perfection? Uh, no.  I have this scar above my eye from when I fell and hit my head when I was three.  I needed stitches and cried like I was dying. Beauty?  When I smile, one eye squints more than the other.  Beauty?  And when I am in shock, one side of my forehead goes way higher than the other. Symmetry? I think not.

I have a friend who is stunning.  She’s the kind of friend who is noticed by a crowd whenever we go out. Seriously.  She’s BEAUTIFUL.  So beautiful that if you are in an insecure place, you could tend to feel invisible.  Do any of you have a friend like that?  Do any of you walk insecurely?  Maybe your short and want to be tall.  Perhaps if you just lost that ten pounds you would feel really great about yourself.  What about if you just had some money to dress the way you really wanted to dress (darn you, Anthropologie)?
It is so exhausting to keep up with what my idea of beauty has been. EXHAUSTING.  The emotional struggle and the amount of time it takes up in my heart and head is RIDICULOUS.  I told a friend not long ago that I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t thinking about finances or things associated with what I think comes with beauty.  What takes up the most space in your head and heart?  Perhaps it is an idol? Perhaps in God’s kindness he is inviting me and you to something more?

For awhile now I have been praying for God to give me a new name.  What I mean by that is that there have been wounds that I have lived out of and names I have called myself that my Father would never call me.   Numerous times throughout scripture (specifically Proverbs 3, 6, 7) there is a challenge to bind God’s words to us around our neck and write them on our heart.  Today I was given three words to write on a piece of fabric and they are now bound around my right wrist until…. Beauty.  Joy.  Covenant.  Much better than Unchosen.  Sorrow.  Broken promises.

Slowly God has begun to uproot my ideas of what beauty is and transform it to really begin to have his eyes to see……….

Beauty is an early fall morning at Cades Cove where the silence and beauty is deeply restorative.

Beauty is loving the helpless, dying, broken at all costs.

Beauty is seen in my mother’s hands who worked three jobs while trying to provide for me and my sisters during a divorce in which no one will ever know the horrors she and my sisters had to endure.

Beauty is seen in my pastors heart as he weeps before his congregation while pouring out his weaknesses and all the while giving praise to God for his journey.

Beauty is seen in that beautiful elderly woman as she lifts her hands in praise even though society doesn’t value the “greatest generation.”

Beauty is seen in a group of friends sitting in a circle attentive to one who is in a dark season.

Beauty is feeling rejected, yet remaining open to others and to God even in the midst of questions.

Beauty is honest relating.

Beauty is that moment on Christmas Eve as you sing Joy to the World and really mean it.

Beauty is the first step of a toddler and the sheer joy on the parent’s face.

Beauty is transition.
Beauty is being present to hear…..
Beauty is FALL!
My friend Beth told me an interesting fact last week.  She said, “Beth, did you know that the color of the tree in fall is the tree’s true color? The intensity of the sun and the chlorophyll in the leaves is what makes them green.”  I love that!  Beauty is being our true self – it is being who God says we are and living out what he promises.  So today, here’s a toast to letting you be your true self and color and beauty. It is fall after all.   

2 thoughts on “Beauty”

  1. This is your best post to date! I don't deserve the mention, but thank you.

    Beth, you are very beautiful, physically and spiritually. Don't ever doubt that. God has set you apart and called you to a high purpose, because He knew He could trust you with what He has called you to do.

    May I re-post this to the ISBC WM blog tomorrow?

    Love you deeply!

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