Wednesday, October 23, 2013

beauty{full}: spirit

I was describing a mutual acquaintance to the Man a while ago in an effort to remember her name. I told him her height, hair color, build, and where he would have know her. When he figured out who I was talking about he replied, "Oh! You mean the angry one!" I would never have thought to describe her that way, having always thought of her as an attractive woman, but once I sat down and considered it...yeah...she did kind of come across as angry all the time. So much so that my husband never even noticed her other physical characteristics.

In contrast, one of the most beautiful women I know is not what one would call traditionally pretty, but when I look at her face, I am overwhelmed by the kindness in her eyes, the gentle spirit evidenced, the obvious desire to lovingly serve others, even at her own expense. Though her face is scarred, her hair thinning, and her teeth no where near straight, she has always been the example for me of true beauty. When I describe her to others, I find myself speaking of her character instead of her physical traits. I have no need to list off her physical attributes because her spirit so clearly shows through.

Over and over again I learn that the physical inevitably flows from the spiritual. There is only so long that a pretty face can be pretty before it needs a beautiful spirit to make it into something more. And when a pretty face has behind it an ugly spirit...that spirit doesn't hide for very long. We spend so much time whitening our teeth and plucking our eyebrows and moisturizing our skin, when perhaps we should instead work on developing a beautiful spirit that would counteract our inevitable physical defaults. Because let's be honest: no matter how good we might look right now (and for some of us that's still up for debate), twenty years down the road there will be more wrinkles on our faces (and everywhere else) and less hair on our heads.

So let's ask ourselves: what do we think people see when they look at us? Do they see a mere amalgamation of physical characteristics or do they see our spirits shining out from beyond these temporal facades and transforming everything from our bushy hair to our big feet? And what do we want to do about that?

{If you're looking for the rest of this series, all the links can be found here. Thank you so much for joining with me this month.}


  1. I have often prayed for a gentle and quiet spirit. Hmmmm. . . I think the Lord is still working on the answer! It takes awhile for me I guess. Love you and thankful for how the Lord is making you more and more beautiful.

  2. I love this, Marian. I am always reminded of a teacher I once the school setting, where she had to be tough, I thought she was one of the most physically unattractive women I had ever seen. But later, as I had the opportunity to know her beautiful Spirit, I began to see physical beauty as well. To this day, I think of her as one of the most beautiful people I have ever known.