Last week my stepmother, Martha Ellen, went home to be with Jesus. What an amazing experience it must have been to leave the dreary, gray hospital room where she suffered in pain and immobility, and enter into the rooms of the mansion that God had already prepared for her, where she was given a brand new, healthy body.
Later when I was talking with my sweet Dad about this, he shared with me how beautiful she looked when she passed away. He said she was more beautiful to him than ever before in that moment. He loved her from the inside out, and he knew her heart.
To the human eye, the word "beautiful" may not have been a word to describe her in her last days.
The cancer had taken its toll on her body.
Instead of seeing her normally cheery, rosy cheeked, healthy face, we saw a face that was small and pale. Instead of seeing her perfectly fixed hair, we saw remnants of hair that displayed the evidence of months of chemo. Instead of seeing her healthy body, scurrying around the kitchen and hanging out on the porch with her glass of wine, we saw a frail, fragile shell of the person she once was.
But in my dads eyes, and in Gods eyes, she was the epitomy of beautiful. As she was ushered into the arms of her heavenly Father, who had been waiting for her to come to Him, who had been standing by her side during this battle, and who had been preparing a wonderful place for her, she was beautiful.
My daddy said in that moment, she was the most beautiful sight that he had ever seen, and I believe him. In his eyes, she was more beautiful than she had ever been.
Beautiful, as he saw the presence of the Living Spirit take over her body, as she passed from this broken temporary world, to the perfect and eternal world.
Beautiful - maybe not in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of those who loved her and knew her, and in the eyes of God.
So often we get so caught up in trying to look perfect, partly because fashion and appearance seem to be at the forefront of every area in the media today. It is an endless game for approval that we all get caught up in.
But in the big scheme of things, in the bigger picture of life, physical appearance does not matter at all. Gods Word repeatedly tells us that His focus is on developing our inner beauty, so that it can be reflected in everything we do, and everything we are.
No matter what we look like on the outside, God only loves us for what is on the inside. He is not concerned with hair, makeup, weight, clothes, fashion or appearance. Regardless of whether we are healthy and active, or sick and fragile, He sees us as being the same beautiful person that He formed in the womb.
God is concerned about the heart, and when we love Him with all our heart - only then, are we truly beautiful..
Beautiful - because of whose we are, not because of who we are.
Beautiful - because we are made in His image, and nothing is more beautiful than Him.
Beautiful - because when we leave this world and enter the Fathers palace, we leave behind the old body, the old problems, and the old life, and step into a glorious place that our human mind cannot even comprehend.
I want to feel beautiful today, not based on what I see in the mirror, but what I see about me in Gods Word.
Remember how beautiful you are today, and focus your thoughts on how God sees you. Remember how those who dearly love you, see your beauty exuding from your heart regardless of what you look like on the outside, and that is the kind of beauty that really matters.
God never made a mistake, and true beauty is always in the eye of the Beholder.
* Will you join me in prayer for my friend Melissa today? Her sweet mom Becky discovered just how beautiful she really is yesterday morning, as she also lost her battle with cancer and left this world, to fall into the arms of Jesus.*