Five Minute Fridays are the beautiful, unscripted moments that happen between Thursday night at the FMFParty on Twitter and for days and days after as post after post of inspiration and encouragement gets linked up at Lisa Jo Baker’s site here. Writers and joy abound and it’s a great place to be.
This Week: Beautiful
The older I get, the more I understand what Elisabeth Kübler-Ross meant when she said this:
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Maybe you don’t get to understand it until later – until you’ve been through some of that suffering and loss yourself – but when it dawns on you, it opens up a whole new world.
The first time I remember this sinking in was at a Christmas bazaar hosted at a local high school. It attracted a huge artsy crowd from far and wide and was a prime spot for people watching (and getting some great deals). I remember one woman who stood out for me – not for any one specific reason, like striking eyes, or hair, or anything else, but the complete way she was put together really caught my eye. She wasn’t wearing the typical holiday cheer in red or green – just a simple cream-colored fisherman’s sweater over jeans and brown boots with her silvery hair back in a clip – and she just looked elegant. I watched her move from booth to booth, her face lighting up with real pleasure at the artists’ offerings; talking with some of them; at other booths, simply letting her hands run over the different creations. She wasn’t young, but she had such character and grace about her, I remember her to this day.
She was a total stranger and I could see this in her. I think of others – friends who are closer to me – who I know much more intimately. Inevitably, the ones I think of the most when the word beautiful comes to mind, are the ones whose road has not been easy; whose burdens have not been light. In my circles, I think this comes from having One to lean on in the hard times, as well as the good, our God whose strength sustains and enlivens us. When His life touches your life; when His character becomes what you seek; when it’s His strength that you’re leaning on, it’s not hard to be beautiful. It shines from the inside out.
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