This is a letter someone sent to me after our last ladies’ meeting. I am sure it is true for many of us……

Good morning, Linda!
I wanted to tell you how impactful the last women’s meeting was.  It may have been the best yet for me.  Here is one reason why:

In our local paper, author’s pictures are displayed next to their columns.  Last year I was looking at a picture of (what appeared to be) a distorted picture of a woman.  Her face looked like it was made of silly putty, all pulled down, swollen in some spots and drawn downward in others.  You could hardly see her eyes past the grotesque skin that surrounded them.  As I looked closer at the picture, I was gripped by fear.  This was not a distortion, but an actual picture of the columnist.  “How brave she is,” I thought, to have her picture displayed for everyone to see.  As I read her column, she explained her disease, but the image of her face blindsided me from receiving what she had to say in her column.  All I could think of was how hideous she looked and how sorry I felt for her AND HOW GLAD I WAS THAT I DIDN’T LOOK LIKE THAT.

After your meeting, the Holy Spirit reminded me of that columnist.  I realized how her writing skills (not her looks) qualified her to be in the newspaper.  I felt ashamed at my shallowness.  I had been missing out on her true beauty…writing.  I discovered she is married and has children.  I do not know how long she has had to live with this disease.  All I know is it hasn’t stopped her from sharing her inner beauty with others.

While I have always known beauty is only skin deep, I have been pursuaded by the world’s standards for what beauty is.  I have repented for judging others and myself by those shallow standards.  Your meeting helped me tremendously.  I am turning a blind eye to what I see in the natural and asking God to help me see the true beauty in others.

Years ago over a 2 month period, I would walk into church and “see” certain people differently.  For example,  a person I knew who was heavy suddenly appeared to me to be thin and beautiful.  Another person who had a large nose looked like they had plastic surgery.  Their nose was perfect.  Still another who looked older than her years, now appeared to have been given a face lift.  I was in awe at how beautifully changed everyone appeared.  The next time I saw each of them they appeared the way they had always looked.  I recognized God was showing me how HE viewed them.  They were without fault or defect.  It was so wonderful to catch a glimpse through God’s eyes of the outward beauty of others through their imperfections.  Your meeting reminded me of that time as well.