By Janet Morris Grimes –
Beauty. Magazine covers scream its requirements from shallow pages, taunting us with the latest version of retouched perfection. The images offer a million different ways to chase the unattainable, oversimplifying the five simple steps to longer, fuller, lighter, whiter, and smoother.
Thankfully, I never belonged in that world. Disappointed with the lack of any true freckle remover as I grew up, my naked face and overweight eyebrows approached life as-is, with occasional tweaking for special occasions. If true beauty required hours of prep work, we were less than interested.
For this reason, I doubt I will ever be what the world considers “beautiful.”
I gladly relinquish that title, and the responsibility that goes with it.
For what I do know is that the moments I have felt the most beautiful are those where mirrors do not exist.
Sitting in silence on a beach as the sun whispers “good night,” offering one last wink and a kiss before bedtime, I feel beautiful.
Sleeping upright on the couch with my infant son asleep on my chest and running my fingers through his curly hair, I feel beautiful. To him at least.
Covered in a moving cloud of flour from head to toe while preparing a meal for those I love the most, I feel beautiful.
Taking communion while kneeling at the cross, as if Jesus and I are the only ones in the room, I feel beautiful.
Walking hand in hand with my daughters as they reveal their concerns about life in a maddening pace of words, I feel beautiful, and pray that they do the same.
Hearing my sister’s far away voice say before she hangs up the phone,
“Hurry home. I’m not me without you.” I feel beautiful.
Finding a way to give a surprise gift to others, especially when they do not realize it is from me, I feel beautiful.
Splashing and dancing in the rain with my husband, I feel beautiful.
Digging deep enough to write words that make others cry, I feel beautiful.
I guess true beauty, for me, has much more to do with what boils over on the inside than what you see on the outside.
And if I had to choose between the two?
Feeling beautiful is much more rewarding than chasing down fleeting images through a distorted hall of mirrors, for mirrors never reveal what truly matters most.
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall?
Stay right where you are.
My search for beauty leads elsewhere.
I Peter 3:3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.