Beauty is as Beauty Does

by | Mar 29, 2010 | Spirit-Led Living

When I was a kid I had one
particular “goin’ to church” dress that made me cringe. I was 11 at the time and
the dress—the height of fashion for the late ’50s—was crinkly pink organdy,
complete with a wide-swinging under-hoop. If I became too animated while wearing
it, I lost my balance! Even worse, my two younger sisters, Carolyn and Diana,
each had a matching crinkly-hooped dress. As you can imagine, trying to sit
together on the front-row pew during a church service presented a problem.

Often we drove to Grandma’s house after church. When she saw us coming,
she’d throw the front door open wide and her arms open even wider, exclaiming,
“My-My-My-My-My Lord! Do I see three pretty pink clouds moving toward me?” Just
so none of her praise went to our heads, Grandma was quick to add, “Now
remember: Beauty IS as beauty DOES!”

By an act of God’s mercy, I managed
to outgrow my crinkly-hooped dress. But one thing I did not outgrow was the echo
of the words Grandma lived by: “Beauty is as beauty does.” Family, neighbors and
strangers often called Grandma, a woman of great faith, “beautiful.”

I
can’t say that I can recall any of her features—teeth, hair, makeup, or even the
way she dressed. What I do remember about Grandma is the gentle touch of her
hands as she fixed my hair into a ponytail for school. You see, in my 13th year,
my daddy died suddenly, so my mother and sisters and I went to live with Grandma
and Grandpa for the rest of the school year.

I can also recall the sound
of Grandma’s voice during those difficult times: “Your Daddy’s in heaven; he’s
just fine, and so will you be.” I can close my eyes and smell the freshly baked
pies Grandma often made for the relatives or neighbors “just because.” Grandma
lived by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
(Matt. 7:12, paraphrased).

Grandma had only a grade school education,
having dropped out due to hard times. But her lack of schooling did not prevent
her from learning the Bible—and from knowing Jesus. In fact, Grandma was so
close to Jesus that she became a walking reflection of Him. Her ways were His
ways.

Jesus was not too busy to hear the cries of blind Bartimaeus and
stop for him (see Mark10:46-52). He was not too busy to pay attention to the tug
on the hem of His garment from a desperate woman who had been in agony for 12
years (see Matt. 9:20-22). And even after hearing the painful news about the
beheading of His beloved friend and cousin, John the Baptist, Jesus was still
sensitive to the needs of the crowd, whom He healed and then fed with loaves and
fishes (see Matt. 14:1-21).

The book of Hebrews describes Jesus as the
express image of God (see Heb. 1:1-3). Jesus confirmed this description when He
told the Jews, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30, NKJV) and when He said to
Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). As the express
image of God, Jesus was the walking beauty of God, touching lives and
transforming them forever.

In these uncertain times, people need Jesus’
beauty in their day. We can bring that to them as we follow His command to “Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Because we are in Christ, we are His light
in a dark and violent world. And as we carry out His works, we will find the
spiritual reality in my grandmother’s reminder: “Beauty is as beauty does.”{youtube}z8Y318e7Edo{/youtube}

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