(Written days ago...)

Banana is smeared on the side of my black shirt. I dropped a cracked egg on my flip-flop foot... and it was sticky and gooey. I found bits of Ian's lunch in my hair. I got thrown up on by Michael. My nails are disastrous. I haven't washed my face yet. My toes could use some polish. And did I mention I'm in need of a shower. It's a good thing I don't define beauty by appearance.

Ian is crying from his nap so I need to keep it short... Libby has just returned from gathering eggs with her Gwampa.

Beauty isn't always visible to the eye. Yes, sometimes beauty is an obvious outward aesthetic experience but I tend to find beauty elsewhere. In kind words and big smiles. In a generous act and in faithful love. In self-denial and gentleness. It comes out of a heart that is content and a soul that is at peace. It's found in the storms that are kept calm through prayer and the birthing of new things. And beauty can come from pain. Where would the rose be without its thorns? Where would the joy of the resurrection be without the Cross?

Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

And 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self [3] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Again, beauty comes from within. It's not often visible to the eye... it is part of the unseen.

Some of my favorite verse on beauty are...

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

and 1 Peter 3:3-4

3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

I'm glad God looks at the heart. Not the outward expressions and attempts at beauty. I'm glad that we live for more than this temporary fleeting life. There is much more. Much more glorious beauty to be experienced later... for forever.


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