The following is an Act of Beauty that was shared by a friend.
I wanted to take a moment to encourage those who are older and wiser for a moment (some refer to them as “the elderly”).
Don’t for a second believe that you are not needed, important, or that you have nothing to give. First let me tell you about a crisp Colorado sunny day about 33 years ago.
I heard a knock at the door that changed my life forever.
If it had not of been for this elderly woman being brave enough to come to my front door that day when I was 12, I would have probably followed through with the suicide I had been contemplating for months.
I may have only lived 12 years, but in those 12 years I had suffered sexual abuse by several, rape by one, physical abuse from two and even mental abuse by another. All of these things had been at the hands of those that I should have been able to trust the most.
I was at my end.
Then this lady showed up at my door. She shared Jesus with me. I remember feeling real love for the first time. Peace. A warmth. I didn’t fully understand everything she said, I just knew I needed more.
She asked if she could pick me up Sunday for church. I said YES!
From that day until she died, she continued to drive 30 minutes to get me, 30 minutes to church, 30 minutes to take me home and then 30 back to her house.
I never saw anyone else with us. Just me and her. So how many doors were slammed in her face I wonder… how many no’s did she receive that led her to a town 30 minutes away from her own? Or maybe… maybe she was sent just for me.
I am here today because of her. I don’t even remember her name. But I do remember her heart.
I’ve gratefully been able to go on countless missions trips to tell others about Jesus, not just overseas but in my neighborhoods, and in prisons. Because that one “elderly lady” took time that day to reach out to me, a lost and scared 12 year old little girl…because of her I’m here today sharing this with you.
Over the years since then, with Gods help, I’ve been able to reach thousands more with the awesome love story she shared with me that day.
So you ARE important. You ARE very needed. You definitely have a plan and purpose for your life. Be brave, be bold, and look for that “one”. Then rewind, repeat, and finish your race with joy.
I’d love to share an Act of Beauty that has impacted your life. Please feel free to send me a PM, and I can share your story anonymously.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to hear 2 women share acts of beauty. One lady shared with me about caring for her in-laws—freely and lovingly, and in her words “by the grace of God”. Caring for others a is tiring, stressful, and selfless act of beauty. I commend her for giving them such a loving gift!
The second woman shared a story from her childhood. She recalled hearing a lady praying—she initially thought it was a conversation with another person, then realized the conversation was with God. The conversation went something like this:
“God, I don’t like “Sally” much. She’s mean-spirited, selfish, and hateful, and I just don’t love her like I should. But, You love her. Show me how to love her. Show me how You love her. “. What a beauty-full prayer, one that had an effect on this woman for a lifetime.
Acts of beauty are all around us. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to hear these ladies share their stories. It was a blessing to me! I hope they blessed you, too!
Years ago, when my husband and I were first married, he would occasionally come home from work smelling like diesel. I REALLY disliked the smell, but I hated even more how that made him feel—as though he was too dirty for me, his job was menial, etc. So, I determined to change my perspective about it. Since that smell was associated with his job, I began to say, “It smells like MONEY!” I would give him a big hug and tell him how thankful I was that he worked so hard for us. Soon, the smell began to bother me less and less. Even though he rarely smells like diesel, we still laugh when I say, “It smells like money!”
Sometimes, we don’t feel beautiful, and don’t see our own beauty. Perhaps, all we need is to change our perspective. When you do an act of kindness, see the beauty in that action. When you hold your tongue, encourage a young Mom, allow strangers to merge in front of you in heavy traffic—those are all acts of beauty. When someone says, “thank you”, hear them saying, “you’re beauty-full”; for they are really saying that they appreciate your beauty-full actions. They have been the privileged recipient of your beauty, and they are grateful.
Today, I’d like to share about a man that is truly beauty-full. A few years ago, while I was pregnant, I had a brief conversation with a man in church about pregnancy stuff—due date, boy or girl, what names were we considering, etc. He mentioned that he was going to have a grandbaby just a few weeks after I was due. We shared in our mutual excitement and congratulated each other.
Several months later, after my son was a couple of months old, I saw him again at church. I had my son in my arms, and he walked up and began to admire my son. He was full of congratulations and admiration. As he was getting ready to move on, I remembered that he mentioned a grandbaby, so I asked about it. With tears in his eyes, he said that the baby had been stillborn. I was stunned, and overcome with grief. What a tragedy! As I expressed my deep condolences, I realized what a selfless act of love I had just been given by this man. In the midst of his great tragedy, he was able to congratulate me on my gift of a healthy son. With a heart keen on my situation, and ignoring his own suffering, this man poured out a gift of amazing love. I know it had to be painful and difficult, but he allowed his love to transcend his pain and share my joy.
This walk of love is not easy. There are seasons in our lives when it is extremely difficult to share in others joy, but it is worth it. I encourage you to follow this example, and extend love even in the midst of personal sorrow. Continue to bless others, and blessings will come to you.
Yesterday, as I kept thinking about Sandi Patti’s song “Love in any language”, the last phrase really resonated in me: “Love in any language, fluently spoken here”. So, I looked it up. Fluent means: capable of using a language easily and accurately; effortlessly smooth or flowing; having or showing mastery of a subject or skill. There is so much I love about this! We are capable of speaking the language of love, both with ease and accuracy, allowing it to smoothly flow from our hearts to those around us in a variety of situations, demonstrating our mastery and understanding of the workings of love in a profoundly beauty-full way.
This morning, my thoughts were going here and there, and an old Sandi Patti song, “Love in any language” came to my heart.
“Love in any language, straight from the heart.
Pulls us all together, never apart.
And once we learn to speak it, all the world will hear
Love in any language, fluently spoken here”
This song speaks of both spoken and unspoken languages of love. A kind word, a gentle touch, and sometimes even silence can all communicate love. However you show love, purposefully choose to speak that language so all the world will hear!
Sometimes I think people have this perception of what beauty—even inward beauty—looks like. It seems like the quiet, mild-mannered lady is what typically comes to mind as beautiful, but beauty transcends personalities! You can have a vivacious, fun-loving personality, or a bold, strong, leader personality, and still be beauty-full! While each personality shows kindness and forgiveness and love in different ways, it doesn’t dilute the beauty or the power of them. So, embrace your personality, and let your unique beauty shine!
Oftentimes, I believe that we have this perfectionist, lofty idea of being beauty-full. We can be so worried about making sure every box in the “Beauty” column is checked off, that we are perfect and never mess up, and then when we inevitably do, consider ourselves as failures. But, God does not expect perfection. He knows we will miss it—that’s what forgiveness is for! It’s His response to our inability to be perfect. Instead of looking at the check boxes and fretting that we messed up yesterday (or 2 minutes ago!), think of the lives we have touched. The simple smiles that brightened someone’s day, the children that we have laughed with, the people we have loved and cared for. As God forgives the mistakes, all that is left is our successes. That’s how He can see us as successful, because that is all there is left for Him to see.
When something is filled absolutely to the brim, even the slightest movement can cause an overflow. In speaking about being filled with beauty, these “overflows” are how our beauty is made known. Every day, we have numerous opportunities to move and allow our beauty to be seen by others through acts of kindness, a word of encouragement or compliment, showing forgiveness, being flexible and/or accommodating, sharing a moment of laughter, etc. These acts of beauty do not cost a penny and bring joy to others. How awesome is that?