She came up to me at a women’s retreat after I had given my testimony. Her boldness jolted me when she asked, “Will you mentor me?” I was taken aback and humbled. I wasn’t even sure I knew how to mentor anyone. I gave her a quick and careful response, “Let’s pray about that.”
Her courageous request would not turn me loose. I did pray about it and felt God leading me to say ‘yes’ to this young woman. I had no formal mentoring training. All I could think of were the older women in my own life, the ones who displayed a Christ-like character and were an example of what a godly woman looked like. I made myself available to talk with her, to pray with her, to share a little of life with her. And the mentoring came naturally.
We built relationship. We got acquainted with each other’s families. I learned about her struggles and victories. She learned about mine. We became faith-encouragers and prayer warriors to one anther. We came to love each other.
Now, a half dozen years later, she has become a leader among women, one who is mentoring others. I’m not sure what role I played in all of it. I am simply gratified at what I see the Lord doing in and through her.
So when she sees me now, she greets me with, “Hello Beautiful!” And I shake my head a little because I am fully aware of the reflection in my mirror.
I’ve never been the beautiful one in the family. I was not a head turner growing up. Not a Miss America candidate. It seems I’ve always struggled with my weight. I was not the girl all the guys wanted to date. And besides, I’m a grandmother now with all the physical features to go with the title.
So why does she call me beautiful?
Here is what I have concluded. She sees me beautiful because she loves me. We developed a bond that drew us to love one another. And the fruit of it was beauty.
Because what we place value on, what we set our affections upon becomes a thing of beauty to us.
Why else would the elderly man look at his aged wife and say, “You are still beautiful to me”? Why does my Sweet William say such a thing to me when the wrinkles are beginning to meet each other and become a cross road in my face?
Why do my grandchildren think I am beautiful? Yes, me with the thinning grey head, the paunch in the tummy, the effects of gravity on everything. My teeth are not as white as they once were. I wear trifocals for goodness sake. I’m not really that stylish in my clothing choices. But to my three grands, I am exquisite.
And the reason can only be that they see me through eyes of love.
I begin to understand a bit more the amazing love of God The grace He extends and the longing to have fellowship with the likes of me shocks me to my core. Why does He place such value on me? I am sinful by nature though I fight it hard. I fail often. I fall down a lot.
Why would He want to be with . . . me?
It can only be because the love He has poured out to me has made me become precious and worth something.
Worth dying for.
And I perceive that love changes it’s subject into something sublime. God loved the world, us the created, so much that He was willing to die for the lot of us.
What kind of beautiful love is that? It is love that sees beyond the faults and failures, the decay and the filth, the imperfection and the sinfulness and sees a beauty worth saving. A beauty worth whatever it costs.
This love not only sees beauty but changes the object of love into something beautiful. The beloved becomes beautiful because love made it so.
So if we happen to meet and you tell me I look beautiful, I know what is really behind that statement. It’s simple. It’s because you love me.