Yesterday, Lucy Mae and I walked down to the creek. The sky was brilliant. The sun dappled the quietly stirring water. Three deer fed lazily just beyond the bridge. A family of robins noisily bathed.
I closed my eyes and felt the play of light on lids…caressing, soothing…opening the longing. I can see this beauty with my eyes closed. These pieces of beauty are easily seen. But I am thinking of a kind of beauty that is most often hidden—a beauty that revealed itself to me this past weekend.
That is, the beauty of a woman’s heart.
At the Freedom retreat last weekend, during breaks and in between speakers, various women shared their testimonies. Listening to these tales of grace and redemption held me. Drew me. Made me cry and rejoice. Hearts were laid open—naked, for anyone to see.
And it was beautiful.
Tina shared how her father used to put whiskey in her Sippy cup when she was a babe. He thought it was funny. She never knew who Jesus was. There was no one to tell her. When someone finally did, she fell head over heels. And hasn’t looked back since.
Jodi told of her childhood with alcoholic parents. Never feeling wanted. Never feeling loved. Her mother gave her up to a family member without so much as a raised eyebrow. Though this probably saved her in many ways, it was also a source of great sorrow for Jodi. She told, through tears, of finding Isaiah 49:15 for the first time. It says, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
These transformed lives…these stories of His pursuit… How they soften my eyes to see beauty in the hidden!
We cover ourselves. We conceal our hearts in so many ways. In doing so, we hide our beauty. In doing so, we hide His beauty. For we are told that in our weakness, His power is made perfect. Is not His beauty also proclaimed in the brokenness of our lives? Does it not bring Him glory when we are resurrected and rise from the ashes?
These stories are beautiful, not because they are not filled with sorrow and heartbreak. No. The beauty lies in the refuge these sweet ladies found in His arms.
He thinks they are gorgeous.
“The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” (Psalm 45:11)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17)