Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
(Author: Karen Walrond)
Beautiful. It's a word to which little girls become attuned. It sounds like princess or happily ever after. It's what you must be for both those things.
And when you're different, you're not beautiful.
(Not that being beautiful, which she surely was, worked out well for the princess in the picture, who was my age and an object of great fascination for me.)
I'm having a hard time with this prompt.
Here's how I was different from the woman I thought was so beautiful, my mother. I was short; she was tall. My eyes were brown; hers were blue. My hands and feet were wide; hers were slender. My hair was straight; hers beautifully curly.
I have a daughter, and I believe she's beautiful, and I know it means little to her coming from me, but I can honestly say it's not that I didn't "hear" it; I really didn't hear it. I grew up feeling different, and not in a good way.
I'm missing the point here, but it's that word.
But here's a time I felt I lit somebody up. In my last interim, a church member remarked that she liked to watch me during worship, because I was always smiling. "How do you do that?" She wanted to know if I really meant it, I guess. I said, "I'm just happy being here, doing this." And the next Sunday, I paid attention to how it felt. No matter what the rest of life handed me, being in worship with a gathered body of the faithful put joy in my heart and on my face.
It still does. It still has, every Sunday of this very challenging fall of 2010.
I don't know if this is what makes me beautifully different, but I really feel the joy in church, and I guess I am able to convey it without even realizing it.
It's not the kind of beautiful I dreamed of being when I was a little girl. But it's a good kind, even if it's different from my expectations. I'm holding onto it.