I had moved to a new city, new school, in 7th grade. New kids to get to know, and one was quite popular although I couldn’t figure out why since his looks were nothing special, maybe a little odd? My family was at his house visiting one day, and I don’t know what it was going on but he sort of affectionately said, “Beth, you’re a turkey.” I had absolutely no clue how to take that. But I figured, it’s not just looks that can make someone special.
He started me on this odd tangent, to look for the beauty in everyone.
Another kid, younger than me, fine features but maybe not head-turning, glowed when he played guitar. Why?
They talk about beauty from within. I think of how one other kid (why are my examples all guys?) became a Christian in college…from following a girl he thought was cute to her Bible study! I met him when he came to church and over the years in the college group I saw not only his spiritual understanding rocket forward to catch up with the group but also his face change. First, the eyes glowed. The acne died down and away.
The face reflects the heart.
I had my baby late in life, late in our marriage (after 11 years). So when some stranger asked if she were my granddaughter, I decided to die my hair, at least until she was ten. It’s a mess, it’s an unnecessary cost (for me, because I look beautiful in silver hair) but in a way I was chasing the world’s beautiful. I’m back to gray now, and the funniest thing happened: a kid at the pharmacy tried to bleach his hair to look like mine! (But he got blond.)
It all came together and I learned when we went for portraits at JC Penney studios, how to look my best.
Smile: your smile (with or without lipstick) is your first beauty point.
Love: you look your best when love is flowing out of you, whether that means playing guitar (doing something you love) or loving people.
Pray: connect to God. Jesus said, “I am the vine…” and I always used to feel guilty about the expectation to bear fruit because I didn’t think I was…but I see now that the expectation on me is to stay connected. Relax into the connection and fruit will come, and my relaxed and happy heart will show on my face.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.