my roommate is blogging this month for her advanced french conversation/composition class, and was instructed to write about beauty for one of this week’s entries. i jokingly told her to simply post a picture of me and be done, which we certainly both had a good laugh about. but i don’t feel beautiful at all most days, and i’m afraid i’m not the only one. because more often than not, i forget what beauty truly is.
beautiful is the woman who isn’t afraid to show her bald head after eight cycles of chemo. beautiful is when my nieces throw back their heads and laugh without holding back. beautiful is a cowgirl covered in dirt after a long day of working cattle. beautiful is an uninhibited, radiant smile. beautiful is the artist after a finished piece, covered in paint and wearing her oldest jeans and t-shirt. beautiful are the high-school girls i minister to each wednesday night, each with their own talents and flaws and tragedies. beautiful is the grandmother who devotes every saturday morning to cooking breakfast for homeless families living downtown. beautiful is the teacher who spends every day up to her elbows in elmer’s clue and crayon shavings, as she impacts the lives of her students who so desperately need her. beautiful is the young woman who ministers each day to girls whose stories are messy and whose hearts need grace. beautiful is being so caught up in an adventure that messed-up hair is the very last thing in mind. beautiful is the little girl with braces, glasses, and untamed curls that looks back at me in all of my elementary school photos. and maybe beautiful is even the college junior who snorts when she laughs and couldn’t walk in heels to save her life.
i think that today, i understand what and who is authentically beautiful.
what’s beautiful to you?