Hidden Beauty

8 12 2013

Some years back I was reading my hometown newspaper on line (one of the things I like about technology) when I came across the Imageobituary of a gal, we’ll call Maggie, I knew back in my school days.  The moment I read her name two things occurred; first, I could see her as if she was in the room with me, and second I got the vision of a boy she wanted to give her affections to that we’ll call, hmm, what will we call him? Okay, I know, let’s just give a nickname; how bout “Jerk?!!”  Might as well call it as it was so you can get a good picture of this guy; but let’s get back to Maggie for now.

I said I could mentally see Maggie the moment my eyes fell on her name.  It wasn’t because of any striking beauty; to the contrary, truth was she wasn’t much of a looker. Tall, super skinny, knobby kneed, face full of zits and two of the biggest buckteeth you’d ever seen. Besides these physical traits old Mag had a habit of wearing makeup way to heavy giving her a slight clown-like appearance.  But hey, you overlook all that and you had yourself a really sweet girl there, intelligent, great personality, caring, compassionate to others with an easy smile bucktooth and all.  Only problem was, as all too often, people, boys in particular, didn’t get past the physical form to discover the positive traits. She could be the brunt of many jokes both behind her back and even to her face by a few of the ignorant types.

Getting back to my man “Jerk,” well he was okay to a certain level.  His looks were nothing that would get him a starring role in a Hollywood movie, kinda of average but most would say he was a pretty nice guy to get along with.  (I know that doesn’t seem the type of person that should be named Jerk, but stay with me.)  As a matter of fact he and Maggie shared a little of the same fate in his grade school days with kids at times making fun of him also, so you would think he could sympathize with her, but alas, it was not to be.  He did at times speak to Maggie when she spoke to him, but only if no one else was around.  Had he been caught spending any time associating with her, he knew the ribbing would be merciless.  Actually Jerk admitted years latter that he kind of liked her; something about her was special, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell her that or explore those  feelings more closely.  What made it harder is he knew she had a crush on him and would occasionally send him notes.  He’d always read them, but never respond and went to great lengths to avoid her.  The low point came when Jerk was at a teen function where Maggie was.  She came up to say hello to him just when one of his buddies made a rude remark to Mag causing everyone to laugh at her, including good old Jerk.  He remembered seeing the combination of hurt and anger as her eyes began to fill with tears, and she turned to walk away.  Now our man Jerk did have a heart, he knew it was wrong to treat her or anyone like that.  But he just couldn’t risk sending the wrong message; after all, she just wasn’t his type.  He wouldn’t have to worry a whole lot about it; Maggie didn’t speak to him again the rest of their school days. Even when he spoke first she would just keep her head down and walk away.  “Oh well, it’s for the best,” he thought.  Still, he’d get these feelings that there was something more to Maggie that was special; too bad she didn’t have the looks to go with it, right?

It was somewhere during Jerk’s senior year that he visited a daycare center with his girlfriend who applying for a job there.  Who should be already working there?  Dear sweet Maggie.  She didn’t see him as he stayed at a distance, but he watched her carefully playing with the little tykes.  She’d have three or four crawling all over her as she tickled them and they cried out in delightful laughter.  One fell and began to cry and Maggie was right there, holding, speaking softly and wearing a radiant smile until the hurt had passed. As he Jerk stood there the thought came to him, “Maggie’s gotten prettier, but she still looks the same–weird!”  Ten years latter their paths would cross again and it was apparent Maggie had forgiven Jerk by the way she now talked to him friendly, as he did her.  She was married with two kids and couldn’t be happier; even though her husband had contracted a debilitating disease where he could no longer work.  She supported them all with her job and a sideline of cleaning houses on the weekend.  I learned also she was a volunteer one day a week helping people with disabilities while at the same time working on a degree from the local college and making time for her children.  “Maggie, you’re just as awesome and beautiful as you were in school,” Jerk blurted out.  She didn’t answer, just said it was nice to see him and walked on.  “Why didn’t I see that before,” he thought after she left.  Then it was, “Oh yeah, you know why you arrogant idiot!”

I believe all of us at some time have been a Maggie the hidden beauty, or Jerk the ugly blind man.  I say hidden beauty because due to the exterior, the world does not exalt the glowing attractiveness that comes from the inside and it is quite often over looked.  I say ugly blind man because there are ones who don’t look far enough to see just how beautiful someone really is, how God has placed a heart of gold in an individual that makes them stunning beyond compare.  I know this individual all too well, who looked foremost on the outer beauty, not giving thought or credit that there was more to someone than looks; for you see, my friend Jerk, is yours truly.

As the scripture says in 1 Samuel 16:7, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  God knows who we are and what makes us beautiful, what makes us special, each and everyone of us.  And as my dear old mama uses to say “God don’t make junk!”  There many Maggies out there, more beautiful inside who are just as attractive as any model that struts her outer beauty on the runway.  Never be ashamed of who you are, for you are special, made special as God says you are.  Psalm 139:14 reads “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Never Never Never let anyone convince you different!

As for you Jerks (Okay, Johns), the same goes for you as it does Maggie.  Knowing that, shouldn’t that be all the reason you need to look closely at the way others are made also, and quite possibly discover a beauty others might miss; just sayin!!

When I read the obit for Maggie, which was rather long, I read testimonies of how she touched and blessed many, many people with her life of beauty and love.  Awesome!

Makes it nicer to be a Traveler of the Rock Road when you can do it with beautiful people, don’t you think?  I thought so!!




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