Saturday, January 06, 2007

True Beauty

Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.

What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.
1 Peter 3:1-6 MSG

Yesterday my friend Donna was telling me that she had a asthma attack in the middle of the night.

"It's hard to call 911 when you are by yourself having an asthma attack," I told her.

"Yes and it's even harder to answer the door when you are lying on the floor," she replied.

Always practical and a nurse besides, Donna continued on about how she did not want to be found dead in that way, "with drool running down my chin, no make up and in my bathrobe."

I promised her that if I ever found her dead, I would clean her up, touch up her make-up and put on her favorite outfit. What a true friend.

Donna is the most beautiful woman I know. She has a true beauty that is delightful to be around and gaze upon. Her gentle, compassionate, sweet spirit is utterly captivating. She has the beauty that only comes from devotion to and connection with our Beloved Jesus.

One of the movies that has most disturbed me was one called Death Becomes Her, with Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn playing two jealous, conniving women who allow a spell to be cast upon them that gives them eternal physical life and perfect physical beauty. The catch? They are really dead and cannot no longer die. In the end of the movie, their physical beauty succumbs to the accidents and wear and tear of the world and they look hideous. In trying to become beautiful, they became more and more ugly. And their ugliness was permanent, as they could never leave their outward bodies and embrace death. Their anger, jealousy and bitterness made them miserable.

The way we make ourselves beautiful is by being in the presence of the True Beautiful One, Jesus. As we read His love letters to us, as we tell Him our deepest secrets and fears in prayer, as we adore Him in worship, as we serve His children here on the earth, His beauty rubs off on us and we are made more and more beautiful too.

Ok, truth be told sometimes we, with the stress of life, lose our sweet spirit and and we allow pride, anger and doubt to creep in. But more and more, as we walk with my Beloved, that happens less and less.

One day you may find me dead. You can clean me up, make me up, dress me up, and put me in a pretty box if that would comfort you. Or you can give my left over shell to science and medicine or burn me to ashes. It's all the same to me.

Because then I'll be in the arms then of my Beloved Jesus and mine will have been made a perfect beauty.

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