You know how when you look at your friends, when you spend time with them, sharing, laughing, weeping in sympathy, all of it, and what you see is beauty? Most people have nice looking outsides, but what makes a friend, or a good person of any kind, is how beautiful, how glorious, how totally outstanding we are on the inside.
Hard exteriors for protection, hiding and holding safe the creamy center, the parts that make us nice people. People worth loving.
Well, it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that all of my beauty is on the inside. I do not cause small children to run in terror, or grown men to weep in fear, but, well, the truth is that I am kind of ugly. My individual features are not so bad, but the two-hundred or so genes that determine my facial identity are not arranged very well.
Should anyone think that I am being humble or even looking for attention, some sort of affirmation that I am not quite as ugly as I know myself to be, well, please release that notion because I am not attractive. I have known this all of my conscious life and I make no apologies for having been dealt the evolutionary hand with which I find myself, or as in this case, face.
What I am, however, is extraordinarily well-groomed. I am clean, I smell great, I know how to use cosmetics to my best advantage. My hair is soft and shiny. I shine. I do. I know this because of the trust my friends and family and clients put in me. I am a trustworthy person. I do not judge. I listen and I help.
I dress professionally, and although my wardrobe is very small, I take exceptionally good care of what I have and practically everything stays looking almost like new until I cannot hold the threads together. Then, I make new clothes and the transition is seamless because I wear basic pieces and whilst that could be boring, it is not to me and it makes getting dressed super-duper easy. I like it.
So, the short story is that I am not attractive, but I do not scare anyone. I am just being honest.
Anyway, today I am at the dollar store, getting crafting supplies (have little ribbon angels to make), small items for the surprise balls I am making for the boys, getting stuff that I can give to the shelter that sheltered me if I get organized to actually do that, not buying my favorite candies (yay me!) and when I am about ready to check out, I pause to let some people pass me, and then go around a display.
There a woman stops me. I thought that she was going to say something mean-ish because she had to wait whilst I stopped for those other people and the place was packed and jammin' with so many shoppers that there were periodic announcements for people to not take their carts outside and leave them there. Really busy.
What she said, though, was that I had a nice smile. That was nice and I told her that it was also just what I needed to hear today. I started to walk on and she followed me and told me that I was beautiful. I thanked her but could not help giggling, very quietly. I thanked her and walked on.
She followed and told me that she had to speak to me because the Lord had entered her and demanded that she tell how truly beautiful I was. I am not particularly ashamed to say that by this time my giggling was audible and with my nice smile I thanked her again and she left, both of us much better for the experience, especially me being so touched by her kindness, and with my fondest, silent, wishes that she get better glasses. I know that she meant well, but it might have been easier and less giggly if she had not pressed onwards.
Now, I am not being flip about any of this. My encounter with this angel was truly something that I needed today. Desperately. I had just come from my therapy session. We are doing good work there, but I am finally addressing and sharing some of the stuff that happened to me. I know this has to be done, but I am very reluctant to enter that realm; having survived it should really be enough and going back is reliving it and I hate it more than I can express. So much so that my therapist insists that we meet again on Monday.
I am so close to so many bits of forward movement, I think. This work is too hard, nobody should have to do this. There is no force in the Universe that will improve or even change my outward appearance, but maybe if I can stick with this whole therapy process long enough I will be able to really have the pretty interior life that my friends seem to see. Some peace would be nice, too. And, I do have my nice smile. Blessings on that angel who spoke to me today.
Oh, my task for today is to turn on some lights tonight after it gets dark, which it is now. Maybe one light.