I have been friends for years with a lady who doesn't blog, so she won't read this. That's good, because I have to say something that sounds hard, but I'm making a point. This friend has a face very like Ichabod Crane in 'The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow'.
She also has a heart of pure gold.
She has friends who value her because of the sort of person she is, not because she is stunning to look at.
As a study in contrasts, there is the 'Swedish countess' having a bitter divorce battle with a mega rich ex-husband, and claiming the millions of dollars offered her is not enough. Apparently she needs $4000-00 a month just for clothes, $600-00 for flowers, and some incredible amount for hair and skin treatment.
Can you get that? Most people do not spend in a year the amount she claims she 'needs' each month. It is astounding that someone can stand there and say that with a straight face. Is there something wildly over the top here?
Back to my friend: I can remember the time she spent being there for others who needed someone to talk to, and the amount of coffee she brewed for all the visitors who dropped in because she was always a sympathetic ear. Sometimes she was taken for granted, and not shown the respect she deserved, precisely because she never made herself hard to get on with. I should add, she is a believer in Christ.
If I had to risk my life for someone, and found the courage to do so, then those worth dying for would be my wife, our children...and a friend like this one I speak of. The world needs people who live and treat others the way they do.
Maybe I'm overlooking something. Could it be that this countess is actually pitiable because she has such a warped view of what matters in life? I can't say. This much is true, thoug: The world suffers from the greed of people who insist that they simply must have more money to live on in a year than most of the world's people see in a lifetime.
No doubt some persons think they become attractive and deserving of admiration because they're expensively dressed and made over, and have money to indulge themselves or their favorites. So could I be accused of jealousy here? Okay, I'll admit, it would be really handy to have more money than we do. But I would be embarrassed at myself if I was caught standing there claiming that I need FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH for clothes!
Which of those two women would make a more trustworthy friend? Which of them does more to make the world a better place? Which of them more genuinely shows that humankind is made in the image of God? The one who wants to take, more and more, or the one who gives?
There might be some allegories in nature. Some flowers are quite beautiful to look at but toxic if touched. Perhaps God made things that way to serve as a lesson about life.
God knows true beauty. This is a case in point of "My ways are not your ways," says the Lord. Human folly can value and worship greed and vanity, and fail to appreciate what really matters. This is something I have to remember myself.
Women such as this friend of mine, and my wife, don't get mentioned in the news. But we see them around us in daily life. We would do well to appreciate them.
So appearances do NOT indicate true beauty. What matters is where the heart is, or what it is.