A couple weeks ago I met my son, my daughter and grandkids for lunch. We were all laughing, joking and having fun, as we do most of the time, when I witnessed a moment that broke my heart.
It was just that; a mere twinkling of time. It lasted about six seconds, and I’ll bet I was the only one who noticed.
I’m weird like that. I recall a time when I was standing in a large crowd at Universal Studios in Orlando, and I felt a twinge of sadness come over me.
My wife noticed and said, “What’s wrong, babe?”
I responded, “I just wonder how many of these people have never been told they’re beautiful? How many have never told anyone ELSE they’re beautiful? How many have never had anyone tell them they’re awesome, like we tell our kids?”
And then I thought, “Way to bring down the moment, Rob…”
Anyway, back to our lunch.
There was a young waitress who was a bit overweight. She was one of those people—like me—who sweats a lot. Thus, after busting her butt for a few hours at work, her make-up and hair were a mess, and her shirt was stained with sweat and food.
But she smiled. A lot. She had an inner joy which made her beautiful.
On the other hand, there was a middle-age mom who was eating lunch with her son. The boy appeared to be about 4 or so, although I’m terrible at guessing ages.
I had just sorta glanced her way a couple times and noticed she wasn’t very nice to him. I also noticed he had a great smile. But he irritated her, and he knew it.
He knew his natural “kid messiness” irritated her. He knew his request for her to take him to the bathroom irritated her.
I try not to notice the ugly things like this, but sometimes I just can’t help it.
Then came the moment when the young, hard-working waitress and the angry, middle-age mom passed by each other.
The waitress smiled at the older mom, who didn’t return the smile. The waitress’s smiled faded, and then she looked the mom over. Pretty hair, pretty face, nice figure, nice clothes.
“And look at me,” she seemed to think.
For just a second, her smile faded, and you could tell she felt inferior to the other lady.
I wanted to step in so badly, and just tell the young girl that she, too, was pretty. That she was worthy. That I had been blessed by her smile.
But being a fifty-year-old, wooly-bearded dude, it’s not my place. It just wouldn’t look right.
So I was left with just praying for her.
“Lord, please speak to the heart of that young lady, even now. Send someone in her path today to remind her that people may look at the outward appearance, but YOU look at the heart (I Samuel 16:7). As it is not my place to do so, send someone along today to let her know she’s beautiful. Bless her kind spirit and reward her hard work, God, in Your name. Amen”
I’ve mentioned before that I have a problem with self-loathing. This may sound crazy, I guess, and some think men don’t struggle with such things, but there are a few of us who do. This isn’t a pity party, I’m just layin’ it out on the line and being honest, here.
But I found strength in the following verses today. They can be found in the book of Isaiah, and discuss the physical appearance of Jesus when He walked the earth as a man:
“Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from rock-hard ground. He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence—
he had no physical beauty to attract our attention. So he was despised and forsaken by men, this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend. As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way; he was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him. (Isaiah 53:2-3)”
“No physical beauty to attract our attention.”
So if Jesus Himself chose an appearance which people deemed “unattractive,” what does that tell you?
It tells me I need to work on my heart more, and worry less about measuring up to “the perfect male.” I need to make sure my spirit remains positive. I need to draw closer to God, and not stress about what others think, or even about what I think of myself on the dark days.
So, in case nobody has ever told you:
You are beautiful, you are loved, and you are cherished.
You are worthy, and you are amazing.
Now pass on the good news to someone else who needs to hear those words.
Blessings, my friend.