Psalm 45:10-11, 13-15

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. [...] The bride, a princess, waits within her chambers, dressed in a gown woven with gold. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Glow of Beauty

Theres’s a thing that happens with little girls and women that turn them into something else entirely. I’ve seen it before, but I did not know how quickly the transformation occurs and how consistent the affect is among little girls and women.

I noticed it so dramatically two weeks before Christmas as I was trying costumes on the children for our school Christmas play. I had pulled Michelle, one of our older children, aside, try on Mary’s costume since the little girl who played Mary was absent and the two girls were similar heights. Michelle thought it was pretty, not the traditional sky blue we had used the year before. It wasn’t until I pulled out a long pink sheer scarf and began to drape it over her head, across her chest and tied it around her waist that the transformation occurred. Her little eyes grew smaller as her smile grew wider. She tilted her head in an all too natural way as her rosy cheeks turned just a shade darker. As I sat back I could see, she felt beautiful. Her face glowed, her mouth let out a little giggle and this little woman who is so precious felt beautiful. How such a little thing could change her countenance! A pink scarf. I knew I couldn’t take it away from her now.

I asked her, “Do you feel pretty?” She shyly nodded.

“You look beautiful. Do you want to wear this?” She nodded. “Okay, this will be your costume.”
It’s interesting how from so very young we crave beauty—in the things we make, how we act, and the way we look. Yet, because of the fall and our own sin we rarely see the glimpses of beauty and even less so do we feel it. We’ve littered our days with ways to make ourselves and our environments attractive—from throw pillows to hairstyles to how we place dinner on the table.

I can’t help but think that Michelle felt a taste of the Father’s love in those moments. He was lavishing [on] her. The beauty that He put in her when he originally made her. It is a magical and mysterious transformation.

A few days later it happened again with our youngest little angel. I was having the children try on their costumes so I could adjust the length. I had just finished with one angel when the bell rang to clean up and go outside. I quickly told Maddi, our youngest angel who had been patiently waiting her turn, we would do her costume the next day. Immediately, she burst into tears. She had eyed the costume long enough. The shiny white robe and the sparkly wings with eager anticipation and here I was taking it from her. Like with Michelle, I knew I couldn’t do that. So as the other children cleaned up and made their way outside I pinned the too big robe on Maddi. The same thing began to happen. It didn’t matter that the robe was too big. It was how she felt in it. Her smile was, of course, wide. Her little brown eyes sparkled as her little hands covered the giggles coming out of her mouth. She felt beautiful.

“Do you feel beautiful?” I asked, “It’s so pretty.”

I wanted to know why…what about just a plain white robe and white panty hose wings made her fell so pretty. So I did, and the only thing she said was, “It’s white.” The first thing I thought was “pure.” She felt beautiful.

We have this standard of beauty that equates to purity, no flaw. Something we see as beautiful does not need to be added to or fixed. It just is. And, oh! How we hardly get a taste of that beauty in ourselves. How we long to hear “My beautiful one, there is no flaw in you” (SS 4:7). Our souls, our minds, and our hearts long to hear those words. We see this pursuit not only in Christendom, but in the world at large. Mankind races to achieve something that cannot satisfy whether it be beauty, respect, admiration, or perfection. We live in a world that lacks true beauty, and we aren’t told we’re beautiful sincerely or nearly enough, but yet when we do we fly!

Like Michelle and Maddi our little hearts are met before the King and we not only feel beautiful, but treasured. It’s as if for that moment our status in the kingdom of God has come down to earth and we are recognized in our rightful role as a beautiful princess, and we glory in it! We are satisfied in the arms of our Creator who delights in beauty and we are satisfied when we delight in His. The root of our delight in beauty doesn’t come knowing that someone thinks we’re beautiful, it doesn’t come from pretty scarves or dresses, it doesn’t even come from a husband who dearly loves us and calls us beautiful. That glow, that transformation I saw in Maddi and Michelle comes from a Creator—the Beautiful One. He is where our beauty rests. Our souls are met in His arms. We are not beautiful simply because he created us with beautiful features or made us women. No, we are beautiful when we look to Him and are satisfied. That glow is our transformation. Our eyes get smaller and our cheeks turn a shade darker as our hands cover a little giggle, because we have found the waters that quench our thrist, the source of Life. We taste and we see, we raise our eyes to heaven and look toward the Beautiful One—it is there we are beautiful. Beauty is only natural when we look to our King. All else fades away as we are filled with the truth there is none more beautiful than the God who created us and the Son who saved us.

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