Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Beauty Is Soul Deep


Abraham Lincoln loved to tell stories on himself. One of his favorites concerned itself with physical appearance.

In the days when Lincoln used to be on the circuit (traveling on horseback from one county court to another), he was once approached by a stranger who said, "Excuse me, sir, but I have an article which belongs to you."

"How is that?" Lincoln asked in astonishment.

The stranger took a jackknife from his pocket. "This knife," he said "was placed in my hand some years ago, with the injunction that I was to keep it until I found a man homelier-looking than I am myself. I have carried that knife for many years. Now I pass it on to you."

Lincoln added wryly, "I've carried that knife ever since."

Once when he was accused of being “two-faced,” he replied, “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?”

One of Lincoln's greatest assets was his ability to laugh at himself and he frequently laughed at his physical appearance. But history does not remember him as an "ugly" individual – in fact, often just the opposite. His spirit was clothed in beautiful garments: character, honesty, humor and courage. And there are other clothes he wore equally well – such as humility and forgiveness.

We say that beauty is skin deep. But it isn't really. It has very little to do with the skin. True beauty is soul deep. It is a fabric that is woven in the soul and worn in plain view.

The Bible speaks of clothing yourself with such things as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Regardless of how good looking we may otherwise be, I believe that these kinds of clothes will actually be what people see – if not at first, certainly later.

This was taught to me by a woman who used to think that if she were granted only one wish, it would be to be beautiful. She saw her wheel-chair dependent body as unsightly and, therefore, she missed her more attractive assets. But when she was finally convinced of some of her beautiful personality traits by her friends, she came to a different point of view. Today she says, "Now I know I AM beautiful. Very beautiful."

It isn’t true that beauty is skin deep. This woman learned that real beauty is soul deep. And when she understood that, she saw that she was far more attractive than she had ever imagined.

So here’s to all of the beautiful people. They come in different sizes and shapes. Some are old and some are young. They can be found everywhere. And they look nothing alike, until you see the light in their eyes. That light may just be a reflection of the beauty inside; beauty that is soul deep.

-- Steve Goodier


1 comment:

Cathryn Wellner said...

You've done it again! If we all carried this belief - about ourselves and each other - how could we not love all the people on the planet...and the planet itself!