A Joyful Heart, A Beautiful Heart

"She is so beautiful."  I thought to myself.

She was delighted to be on her way to church on the bus, it showed in her radiant smile. I would look her way and see a woman confident, secure, unassuming, and bubbling with joy. She held a wrinkled, tattered sheet of handwritten verses in front of her and intently practiced them in between helping this or that child hobbling their way up the bus to find her. I didn't sense any trace of self-consciousness or vanity or fear of man . . . she was simply herself. Unmasked. Uninfluenced by her culture's fashion statements. Completely genuine and sweet. Tenderhearted. Happy. Beautiful.

How quickly we fall into the trap of thinking our attractiveness is hinged on our outfit, jewelry, or hair! Isn't it foolish? In the light of eternity, will it really matter if we were perfectly put together outwardly? Are we drawing others to Christ by the way we dress or simply getting a reputation for being 'style-savvy'?  Even the most beautiful women in the world, when asked if they could change something about themselves, said they would if they were given the opportunity. The ideal appearance does not exist.  We can rejoice to know that everything about our physical design was providentially created for our individual calling ~ by a God whose wisdom far surpasses ours.

Last Sunday I went with my cousins and family to their church in Tennessee and as I sat listening to the choir, I immediately noticed one young lady. The choir was no small bunch, but this lady stood out among all of them because of her amazing countenance. As I watched her sing, I couldn't help but reflect her smile; her face lit up as she joyfully glorified God with her voice and contented spirit.

Beauty is an inward thing. If you are a joyful person, people will think you are beautiful. It's true! People love happy people. Joyfulness is not only beautiful, it is contagious and uplifting! Take the time to watch people at the next event you attend, and you will see those who are surrounded and cherished by others are those who are content, confident . . . joyful. Joyful, not simply as a result of the love of those around them, but loved because of their choice to be joyful. I find myself hardly noticing a person's choice of clothes, physical features or hair style at all when they wear a radiant smile. Let us purpose to reflect well on the provision of God ~ let us purpose to be beautiful . . . to be joyful. :)

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
Habakkuk 3:18-19a

The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Psalm 126:3

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
Proverbs 17:22a

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