August 4, 2018
Favor and Beauty
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. – Proverbs 31:30
Growing up on a farm in a large family, there were very few occasions that our mother chose to hire a babysitter. For one thing, babysitters cost money, and also the size of our family was a challenge. Occasionally, though, to our delight, Stella came to our house.
Stella was a grandmother who lived across the ridge a couple of miles, and we had always known her. When she came to watch us, it was usually because Mom had some important business and couldn’t take all of us along. That was just fine with us, because Stella brought such interesting activities with her. There were spools with nails in them to “knit” a rope, an old thimble that she hid to play “hide the thimble,” coloring books to beautify, and some puzzles to work. But above and beyond her unique toys, we just loved Stella. She played with us, gave us treats, and most of all, she loved us. Time flew by when she was around.
Some years later, I heard a chance remark about Stella. The phrase that caught my ear was, “. . .not much to look at. . .,” meaning they didn’t think she was very pretty. I felt defensive on her behalf—of course our Stella was lovely!
Now, years later, I understand what I was confused about as a child. Strictly speaking, Stella did not have beautiful physical characteristics, but she had a beautiful heart. Our childish eyes only saw the love that she showed us, and that was what mattered.
The moral of the story for us is that we are off the hook when it comes to favor and physical beauty! God’s requirement, as we read above, is to fear Him. Of course, it is important to our testimonies to be clean and neat, not allowing our appearance to get totally out of hand. However, what really matters is neither popularity nor flawless features, but a heart that honors, trusts, and emulates our Heavenly Father. Since we are His hands down here, the challenge is to be available to Him for use, then effectively get ourselves out of the way so He can shine through our imperfections. The result? When others come in contact with us, the part that is memorable is His love that touches them.