Tuesday, May 6, 2008

True Beauty

True Beauty
True beauty
Was not in the clothes
That changed with each passing moment
And never satisfying;

True beauty
Was not in the jewelry
And so called adornments
So heavy they added weights
Of unbearable charades;

True beauty
Was not in the cosmetics
That played down rather than accentuated
What was innate and real;

It took a lesson or two
Encounters and a mind renewing
To know that true beauty came
From inside out.

The Inspiration
“I’m going to see the client today to sign my ticket, and I am not wearing any make-up. How do I look?”
She giggled.
I smiled as I appraised her.
Four months ago I would have said, “You are going no where like this!” But four months was ample time to learn what true beauty is.
I looked at her eyes. I could have suggested a little mascara so that when she sends a coquettish look, the client would wonder what could come next. But her eyes held a love that would only be dimmed by mascara. Maybe some eye shadow, I could have suggested months ago. But the laughter in her eyes would be marred by such. I was fine with the eyes.

I looked at her ears. I could have cursed for the umpteenth time why the earrings to pierce her ears did not come. Suddenly I realized how beautiful the ears were. They listened twenty-four hours a day. They listened to the spoken and unspoken words. They listened in such a manner as to bring out the best encouraging words. I was fine with the ears.

I looked at the lips. A little Angelina Jolie lip gloss could have given it that sensuous look that would leave the client staring. But I saw beyond the pout. Her lips always had this childish smile that made me know she did not mean any harm even if I felt offended. In any moment, a sweet-sounding giggle could escape those lips. I could imagine anything better than the refreshing sounds that came out of her lips in words, laughter and sighs on my behalf. I did not care less if there was anything like sensuous lips.

I took a deep breath before responding to her. The mild smell of Dove body wash filled my nostril. I could have recommended a designer perfume that would linger even after she had left the client’s office. But what lingered in my memory was this same mild smell when I could not open my eyes. At that time, she mopped my high temperature down all through the night. She stayed awake all through the night making sure I was okay. When finally I opened my eyes, it was her loving eyes and mischievous smile that I saw and have not forgotten.

In just four months, I learnt what true beauty is. It had nothing to do with the outward appearance. It came from inside out. It had nothing to do with the adornments. Those have value when the inner self is beautiful. True beauty is so beautiful that I lack enough words to describe it. It is kind, loving, understanding, forgiving, refreshing, sacrificial… True beauty is like love [1 Corinthians 13: 5 - 8]. That beauty that comes from the inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which has great worth in God’s sight. Now I know why.

“You did not hear a word of what I said,” she said, and I realized I had been day-dreaming. “I said I will call the client to postpone the meeting. It will give me ample time to make-up. From your quietness I know today’s plainness must be too bad.”

“On the contrary, you are looking so beautiful today. If I am the client, I will sign your ticket and take you out for lunch. You are a real beauty!”
“Really? You’ve made my day!” Then she started giggling in that way that always amused me.

I never knew the same person whom I once thought was plain and simple would turn out to be the most beautiful lady I have ever known. The beauty was always there. I just could not see it.

You are beautiful. Let your beauty shine, that beauty of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This is of great price in the sight of God. And those who know the worth.

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