Mid-week Question of the Week~October 15

Buried beneath statistics homework for the passed several weeks has kept my question meter fixed on all that is quantitative.

Until I read this description from Alice Walker in her work In Search of our Mother’s Gardens* of older people:

“who persist in their beauty in spite of everything.”

I think of my mom and the beauty of her long obedience in a faithful  direction. I think of the persistent beauty of waiting. There is the persistent beauty of working hands and wrinkled smiles.

And I wonder…

In your life, Who persists in beauty in spite of everything and how do you know?

 

 

 

~~~

Additional Questions

*page 62

Day 7 Beauty~~Be Gentle Be Love~~

Been trying to write about Beauty all week for Be Gentle Be Love. This week has been a wreck for me. I thought it was because of tax day, or an abrupt upset, or a searing devotional reminder, or  the finale of Parenthood. But the tears did not stop at the conclusion of these events. The tears kept coming. I was in panic.

When I was 10-years-old, my dad, who was also my tennis coach gave me an ultimatum in the form of this question:

Do you want to be pretty or do you want to win?

  At age 10 this choice was pretty simple. Pretty was synonymous with beauty and beauty was Elizabeth Taylor and Lena Horne. Couldn’t touch that.

Winning was tangible, fun, and a way to get free tennis stuff from tennis shops.

The concept of beauty–as something to do–has remained this way for me.

When I search outward I always find beauty. When I focus my reflection outside myself, it is there: in nature, in my neighborhood, in little kindness, in gratitude, in the faces of compassion. I always find it with humbling wonder.

When I focus on my ego’s reflection, the detours beckon.

When I look at the body that donuts have built, I detour to self-criticism.

Then there is the self-loathing detour of “The Gray Hairs”. There it is. In print. I can no longer operate in the delusion that they are errant dried bits of cream cheese frosting or misguided mayo or chaotic powdered sugar. I must be thankful for them before I decide what to do with them and reroute the detour of self-loathing they bring.

When I objectify myself, a detour of comparison threatens. I believed him when he said I was beautiful. Then, I was left with confusing questions when he and his words became part of “what was”.

And what about the beauty he saw? Was that part of the “what was”? Do his sweet nothings mean I am nothing sweet?

Perhaps there are better questions to ask. Perhaps there are Better Answers.

But God.

But God sees beauty differently. God sees beauty in me.
There it is. In print. And just like my gray hair, I cannot operate in the delusion that expressions of beauty from one supersede expressions of beauty from The One.  

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you. ~Isaiah 62:5

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.” ~Zephaniah 3:17

The King is enthralled by your beauty. ~Psalm 45:11

Do I have the courage, the faith, to trust God or what was?

Been trying to write about Beauty all week for Be Gentle Be Love.
This week has been a wreck for me. The tears kept coming. I was in panic.

And my trusted friend reminded me.
“It is Passion Week”, he said.
The last holiday in my “what was” was Easter of last year.
Maybe last Easter was the last holiday before your diagnosis.
Or before your loss. Or before your pain.
In the time of “what was.”

His Sacrifice Still Is.

There is beauty in His sacrifice. You may say you do not understand it and to that I reply, “good for you!” Because if understanding distances you from the Beauty of Passion Week and His unselfishness and in any way allows you to maintain controlled manageability, I would not want that for you.

When it comes to beauty, to whose voice do you listen?

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