Monday, September 25, 2006

Its in the Way That You Use It....

Today was grocery day! Zee big trip takes me into the neighboring city & is always expensive, but happy! On the way we did a little people watching (as always) and got into a mild debate about some of their facial features. One lady's expression reminded my spouse of a bulldog and he wondered at the body styles God gave some folks. But I have seen all sorts of types of people who, because they have a good heart/expression, make their 'type' worth having. I remember a loving lady at a church whose 'bulldog' style meant being determinedly loving. Was she beautiful? With that heart, yes!

Conversely, I knew a guy in my high school who was such a snot that many of us never noticed his physical gifts. His face was always contorted with a sneer. A couple of years after I graduated, an acquaintance looking through my old pics asked about the 'hot guy' in several of my club photos etc. Took me a long while to realize who she meant. He was smiling in those shots. Interestingly, she didn't identify him as the same guy in the ones with a expression.

Now some people know how to look beautiful/charming but still have bad hearts. Some are afflicted with non-symmetrical faces or other aesthetic burdens that are hard for some folks to overlook, but most of us are greatly enhanced (even physically!)- or reduced by the lack of- love, humility, gratitude, hope, and joy.

In our positions too we have the chance to bless the lives of those around us, to show extra love to our families and friends in big and small ways, or dwell in the mire of petty offenses, grudges, slander, self-centeredness. A book I read sometime ago (I think it was Bad Girls of the Bible) suggested that even Delilah had held Samson less by her beauty than by her willingness to cater to him, to offer those little kindnesses and compliments that can feed a soul (or an ego!)

You'd be amazed how much love you can show by being willing to have a servant's heart toward your family. Try bringing a meal to your spouse in bed occasionally. Make your daughter a lovely skirt. Help your son find all his legos without the lecture (this time ;) Tell them when they do well (without mentioning the other time.) Keep a prayer list of their desires and needs. Keep a 'goodies' list of the things they mention over the year for birthdays and Christmas. Have 'favorite' meal nights.

Sounds like 'spoiling' them? Doesn't have to be. You can do all this and more and - as long as you also are firm in your discipline (the least popular form of love) - you will ensure that they always know that you love them, whether you said it today or not. Hugs are good, words are good, consistent actions are better. All of them well integrated into our lives is best of all.

Isn't it the love God showed us that he didn't have to, the extra miles He was willing to go to avoid judging us, the undeserved favor and care he gives us daily that make our lives worth living? Freely we receive, so freely we must learn to give. (and receive from one another. This is another weakpoint for some.)

If you think physical beauty or fame will reduce the need to develop the inner graces, consider how many divorces and other troubles the famous seem to have. You don't need to read a gossip rag to realize that all the trappings of worldly success do not wear well without a willingness to focus on the needs and merits of others. Even the most successful manipulator's selfish ways will wear thin over time, but a gentle spirit warms, heals, and builds up all those touched by its words and example.

Its all in the way you use what God gave you.

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in decent apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array,
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Webster 1833


Rebehm said...

Hi Mom!

That was a very neat blog to read. :)

It is interesting how the state of person's heart and mind will influence their outward beauty.

I also remember seeing a young man who, like the one at your school, had spoiled his appearance royally with a ugly expression on his face and a lot of arrogant behavior towards others in the room with him. In fact, towards the end of the event, people were starting to aviod him. Even the folks he had tried to be "nice" to were seeking out other conversational companions.

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Mary Poppins NOT said...

This was a treasure trove of goodness! I can't wait to digest it all. Thanks for sharing this.

Shushan said...

I am very glad this blessed you :D