Tuesday, June 05, 2007


There is a framed card on my desk with a simple message. The card has little dots all over it and at the center is the word "beautiful." The card is from my little sister Jenny and serves as a reminder to me that God thinks I am inwardly and outwardly beautiful. It is also there to remind me that if God thinks I am beautiful then I should think that, too. This is easier-said-than-done most days.

I believe that beauty is so much more than a reflection in the mirror; it is a reflection of who we are inside. I believe that well for others, but I struggle to believe it for myself. I imagine many of you find yourself in the same camp. You know that beauty is about so much more than how you think you "look" on any given day, but living into the reality of that is difficult.

We blame it on the media and the emphasis they put on outward beauty. We blame it on the movies and how they idealize how she who has a perfect face and body gets the girl. We blame it on a thousand things outside of ourselves.

I think we're wrong.

Sure, I think the media, the movies, and other things contribute to our feeling less-than-beautiful at times. However, I do not think it is entirely the fault of our society. I believe it begins within. Real beauty looks more like unexplained radiance than perfect skin and the perfect body. The people I call beautiful are those who reflect God's love and grace. They are people like my sisters Jill and Jenny who are struggling to love God and love people as best they can. And inward beauty like that creates an outward beauty that is irresistible.

I believe it pleases God when we accept ourselves as "beautiful." I believe that seeking and following Jesus makes us beautiful. I believe the Spirit of God within us wants us to believe we are beautiful. I also believe it is difficult to remember these things day after day.

My challenge to you is to start to see yourself as beautiful. Cultivate a life that seeks to love and to serve God and others and you'll find yourself feeling more beautiful. When we are inwardly balanced, it always shines through outwardly. I also challenge you today to call out "beauty" in the lives of the people around you. Words are powerful and there are far too few positive ones out there. Be the source of spiritual encouragement for another person.

As a closing thought, I’ll share this quote from Khalil Gibran. His thoughts are sometimes peculiar to me, but this one really resonated with me. I think it sums up what I am struggling to say here...

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart."
- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

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