Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Beauty

We had a special gathering of women at our church Monday night and the topic was The Longing to be Beautiful. I think it was the best talk on beauty that I had ever heard. The speaker was a woman who has been through some hard things in her life and among them the diagnosis of epilepsy in her 3yo son, his death by the time he was four in a car accident (while she was on her way to church) and breast cancer. She had lost all of her hair and had to have her breasts removed. This caused her to really seek the Lord on what He thinks about beauty.
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The first Scripture she shared was a very popular one when addressing the subject, but it had much more meaning coming from our speaker.
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"Your adornment must not be merely external - braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
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After sharing more Scriptures and personal testimony we spent some time in small group discussion at our table of about 8 women. Among the eight was one woman who had to wear a wig, another who had anorexia and another who had plastic sugery to eliminate 200lbs of weight but still struggled greatly with too much body fat. It was amazing to see these women open up the private details of their lives. My only complaint was that our time was cut short because it would have been nice to pray for some of them individually.
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This event was instigated for the women of the church but I was so glad I brought my daughters, even though they were the only young people. They split us up at different tables, which was great because they all had plenty of opportunity to talk to other women. I am really looking forward to getting to know so many "beautiful" women. When we were driving home that night and discussing the message, BLOCHhead said the teenage girls need to hear that probably more than the women did. Desegregation is something we hope to encourage more because young girls sure could benefit from hearing the testimonies of older women! I was blessed to see how open they were to the girls coming. One lady who was in charge of a coming event for adults told us we all needed to come even though it was supposed to be for adults only. She said with a sly smile, "Well, if you show up, we won't be able to turn you away!" How nice and beautiful!
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I'll close with the piece our speaker closed with.
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Our Daily Bread "For His Eyes Only"
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a lovely reflection? A handsome face" Or do you see a plain or unattractive countenance? We want to give those who behold us what my friend called an aesthetic blessing. But what about the beauty of holiness? Are others blessed by the beauty that flows through us from Christ?
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A distinguished Bible scholar of the 19th century, J.B. Lightfoot, was described by one of his devoted students as "startlingly ugly: a stout little man with a grotesque figure and a squint." But that same student also said that Lightfoot ws "the best man I have ever encountered, and I say this deliberately after the experience of many years. In a day or two...his face appeared the most beautiful and lovable thing imaginable.
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When Stephen was brought before the Jewish council for interrogation, "they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke" (Acts 6:10). As he was begin accused, they "saw his face as the face of an angel" (v. 15). By God's transforming grace, we too can have a daily beauty in our lives. As we walk prayerfully in the Spirit, our faces increasingly reflect the beauty of Jesus. -- Vernon C. Grounds

2 comments:

tootlepip said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day! At our last congregation we encouraged the teen girls and up to come to all of the ladies meetings and events. This was a very positive thing as they built relationships with the other ladies and then transitioned better into the adult aspect of church when they graduated from highschool. I thought of you last night when I was told by one of the ladies at church that she thought it would be okay for the girls to come to "some" activities, but not all of them. It is an unfortunate result of all the years of age desegregation in the church. How can we mentor if we never spend time with them. My daughter is now 21 and she has always been able to blend with all ages and be helpful when activities required workers. I am saddened at the attitude that was portrayed by this one woman but hope that I can make a difference.

MamaLion said...

Hi Tootlepip.
I'm encouraged to hear your thoughts and I am sure you can make a difference. I think you are right on track. Keep up the good work!