Isn’t it amazing how once we slow down from the crazy pace we keep called life that we have the opportunity to really soak in the beauty around us? I find that as I have rearranged my scheduling and my priorities, I am finding more time to just gaze and marvel at the artistry that is created and maintained by God. And I’m not just referencing the delicate pink or red petals of a rose, the deep blue of the sky above, the intricate designs of a butterfly or the greenest strand of grass that stands perfectly straight in beautiful rows across a meadow. Yes, there is beauty to be found in that, but there is incredible beauty to be found in the people around us and at times, I feel so often we overlook that or don’t have the patience or time to see it.
True beauty doesn’t mean you walk the catwalk wearing the latest designer clothes while camera bulbs flash intermittently. Beauty isn’t accomplished from constant surgeries, cosmetics or hair care products. The clothes that we wear or the shoes that adorn your feet don’t emulate beauty and style. What demonstrates true beauty is your heart and your soul; who you are and who you help on a daily basis.
Don’t let the gruff exteriors, sad eyes, disheveled clothes, hurtful glances, intolerant behaviors, uninviting demeanor cause you to look away or ignore. How easy it is to love the lovely, those who smile and are encouraging, but how even more amazing it is to love those who don’t feel lovely. Those who feel isolated and alone; who feel abandoned or forgotten.
At The Salvation Army we have so many people who arrive at our door step on the very worst day of their life. Everything they own may be packed up in the back of a vehicle and they are in need of a home or those we feed from our canteen who haven’t bathed in days and try not to make too much eye contact; afraid of the judgmental glances they may receive in return. How important is it to look beyond the exterior which more often than not is a result of a circumstance or event. It’s not the intent of the individual but rather the outcome and by all of us simply looking beyond the exterior and into the interior we will are able to see real and true beauty.
Picture someone at work who may sit at their desk choosing to socialize with no one or someone who constantly barks orders and doesn’t seem to appreciate anyone. If we could only take the time to truly see beyond the hurt, the hate, the sadness and the loneliness, what beauty I know we could find there.
I know at times it seems easier said then done and can we love and see beyond their mask? Not always, but if we can make a conscious effort to try, what a blessing it would be to those we reach out to and soon enough like a flower that blooms when it’s watered we will find the human spirit grows when it’s showered with love, care and compassion.