Is Beauty In The Eye Of The Beholder?
What do you consider Beautiful?
Blessed are they who see Beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
Thanks for reading Joe Lange’s Opinion ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
If I asked you to describe something Beautiful what would it be?
I’ve seen some Beautiful skies. A Beautiful sunset. I’ve sat on a Beautiful beach in Mexico and seen the most Beautiful blue ocean I’ve seen in my life.
I’ve seen Beautiful artwork in Beautiful museums. I’ve seen a Beautiful rainbow trout pulled out of a Beautiful lake. I’ve rode a Beautiful horse in a full run across a Beautiful prairie in Wyoming on a Beautiful summer day and felt the wind in my face and experienced Beautiful exhilaration.
I’ve seen many Beautiful smiles. Many Beautiful people and many Beautiful souls.
What about you?
What comes to mind? What comes to your memory when you think of the word Beautiful?
What do you think God thinks is Beautiful?
I had something happen today that inspired me to write about a story I love in the Bible and share some similar experiences in hope of encouraging you.
Acts 3 : 1-10
Peter Heals A Lame Beggar
“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
Acts 3:1-10 NIV
As many know, I’m a mailman for the USPS. I have a school on my route that isn’t your typical school. It’s located in some office space surrounded by doctor and dental offices. It started out as a resource center for homeschoolers but has grown into a charter school and seems to double in size every year. They are Christian based and given the climate of public schools these days, I’m not surprised they’ve grown. It’s a busy place with a packed parking lot and kids being dropped off constantly.
Outside the small office they have placed some nice benches for kids to sit while waiting to start class. Groups of kids are always gathered outside talking.
For two days in a row now, I saw the same little girl sitting on the bench outside the office all alone. She looks very sad and lonely and doesn’t even hide it. When I smiled at her as I went into the office to deliver the mail she didn’t smile back, she just looked down. When I saw her there again the next day I smiled and said Hi, and she looked at me but didn’t change expression at all and said nothing. I saw kids pass by her and as she looked at them they didn’t even acknowledge she was there and my heart felt her pain. She looks broken in spirit and my heart aches for her.
How many times had that lame beggar been carried to that gate called Beautiful to beg?
How many people had just passed him by?
Has God placed anyone with a broken spirit in your path? Someone who needed to be seen? Someone feeling all alone in this struggle we call life?
Peter was going to the temple at the time of prayer and that’s important.
I’m going to be praying for this little girl as my heart cries out for her and I’m going to keep smiling and saying Hi to her, hoping she sees how valuable she is in God’s sight.
I have a second story to share that relates to this story of the lame beggar.
It’s a heartbreaking story.
One day as I was delivering my route I heard screaming. Someone was screaming for help. I looked across the street about two houses down and in the driveway was a man hanging onto the bumper of his truck. He was hanging on for dear life. His walker was laying on the ground and he was too weak to move.
I jumped out of my truck and ran to help him. I had seen him before but never met him. He is a frail old man literally skin and bones and barely five feet tall. I gathered him up and was gonna carry him but he refused so I helped him back to his walker and held him as we slowly walked to the little bench at his front door. His legs were completely weak and couldn’t hold him up. He had a wheelchair inside his front door but wanted to sit on his little bench and refused anymore help.
His little wood bench at his front door was his spot. He was always sitting there. He chain smoked and would have his cigarettes lined up there for the day with his lighter and that’s where I would see him every day after that. I would always take his mail up to him on his bench because he lived alone and I feared him struggling to go get it himself out of the mailbox.
He was first surprised when I brought him his mail and he said that was very kind. I told him it was the least I could do and I asked how he was doing. For a few minutes a day at least, I could bring a smile to his face.
When my dad passed away recently I took a month off work to be with my family and one of my fears was this lonely old man would pass away while I was gone.
That’s exactly what happened. The first day back there were several cars at his house and his little wood bench was gone. I could see lots of boxes stacked through the window and it broke my heart.
I thanked God for him and the brief time I got to talk to him and show him kindness. He had a rough life and I just wanted to make it a little easier for him.
Then weeks later the house went up for sale and had an open house.
I was wondering what the house was going for, as we recently just sold our house, so I looked up the address as me and my wife were out to breakfast.
Then my heart sank. The first story that came up in the search wasn’t about the house but instead was of the man’s death. A horrible news story of a fire and how this poor lame man had died being caught on fire on his little wood bench.
Really heartbreaking. What a horrible way to die. I cried at breakfast. I still struggle with it.
My third story is about when I was a kid. We went to a nursery school in Arizona for many years. There were two boys me and my brother became friends with for the time they were there. Michael and his younger brother Danny.
Danny had something wrong with him. He was mentally very slow but he was enthusiastic and was always trying to do whatever we were doing. He always had a happy spirit. We would often play imaginary games like cops and robbers or super heroes. We would play fight in slow motion so nobody got hurt and one time while we were doing that I swung around and accidentally punched Danny in the jaw. It dropped him on his butt and my heart sank. I thought I had really hurt him and expected him to cry but instead he just laughed. I quickly apologized and helped him up. From then on I was always looking out for him.
Our nursery school during the summer would take us swimming to the public pool on Wednesday’s and it only cost 50 cents back then.
One day we were all swimming in the big Olympic size pool and I saw Danny.
He was away from the ledge.
He couldn’t swim and he was only supposed to stay in the shallow end but he was adventurous and would always pull himself along the ledge because he just wanted to be out by us.
I saw him. He was only about three feet away from the ledge but flailing and then he went under. I quickly swam to him and grabbed him. As soon as I did he wrapped himself around me in a death grip choking me as he struggled to get above water. I couldn’t breathe and was trapped under water, he was panicked and now so was I. As he gripped my throat tighter the only thing I could do was swim to the ledge and hope he would let go and grab the ledge. That’s exactly what he did. He let go and I grabbed the ledge myself. I had a hard time breathing and I was worn out physically. I looked around and in a massive pool full of lots of people and several lifeguards, not a single person had noticed that we had almost drowned. It was a valuable life lesson. I won’t ever forget Danny and to this day whenever I hear the song Danny Boy it reminds me of him.
How many people has God placed in your path for a reason? Someone in need that only you may notice?
How many people have we not seen? People in desperate need. People with broken spirits, lame, lonely or drowning in life?
For me I’m sure it’s probably too many to count. But I’ve gotten better over time to notice those in spiritual need and I give God the credit for opening my eyes.
Do you remember the story of the Leper?
Jesus Heals A Man With Leprosy
“A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.”
Mark 1:40-42 NIV
That was me. I was the leper. I was the one who was unclean. I believed in God since I was a little kid because of the little Bible tract I had found but through my teens and twenties I had become the Prodigal son.
I was separated from God but Jesus died for me. He cleansed me.
I want to encourage those who feel broken. Those who feel depressed or lonely. Those who don’t feel worthy. Those who don’t feel Beautiful.
God has seen you. He’s seen you in your worst moment and He loves you. He created you and He thinks you’re Beautiful!
Don’t let the eyes of others or even your own eyes miss the beauty that God placed in you. God is a mighty creator and He only created one of you. You have always been special.
Jesus can totally relate to you my friend. The Bible says so.
I was a fairly new Christian and now leading a growing mens Bible study group in our church. One evening I was at a leadership meeting at our church with all the church leaders. Probably about 40 people. Our pastor always taught something to start the meetings in order to encourage us before we hashed out the church stuff.
My pastor asked this question.
“What does God think is beautiful?”
It was as if that question was asked specifically for me. For just a few moments there was silence as everyone let the question sink in. But I knew the answer.
I spoke up.
“The feet of those who bring the Good News.”
My pastor looked at me in surprise. He was hoping to stump everyone and did not expect the answer to come from me.
But I’m an encourager. That verse God wrote on my heart and I had studied those very verses in Romans and won’t ever forget them.
They talk about people in need of encouragement and hope. They talk about who will give them that encouragement.
“for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!””
Romans 10:13-15 NIV
And what is the Good News?
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
If you are the one offering encouragement and hope, seeking the lost. Helping the lame and lonely. Those broken in spirit. Pointing them to Jesus.
God thinks you’re Beautiful!
Remember how I said Jesus can relate to those that don’t feel beautiful?
Some final verses to encourage you to seek out those in need that the world overlooks.
“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:1-6 NIV
Jesus wasn’t considered beautiful by the world’s standards either. But God has different standards.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I would like to share a podcast from one of my favorite pastors who I listened to on the radio for many years as a new Christian as I worked. God used him to feed God’s truth into me and share his Godly wisdom.
This message is perfect for this article and this series had the biggest impact on me spiritually.
Pay special attention to the last part of this message when he talks about his friend George.
I would encourage you to listen to this whole series from Chip Ingram called “Good to Great in God’s Eyes.”
It had a huge impact on my life.
Be encouraged my friends!
God loves you and thinks you’re beautiful!
Thanks for reading Joe Lange’s Opinion ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.