Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where the heart is

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.


jel said...

Morning Andrew,

we could use more people like your friend! :)

hope all is well !

~*~toni~*~ said...


jeleasure said...

"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".

Good point, Andrew. I guess you could go a little further with that idea and say, "Look at what happened to that rich guy for marrying the beautiful flower".

Jeffrey Weeks said...

i wonder what you think of the idea of karma-- that the good deeds of your friend will eventually provide added benefit to her (and us all) while the selfish deeds of the "countess" will come back to visit her in an unpleasant way, or harm us all collectively.

even if the idea is nonsense the principle is sound (nothing more than "what goes around comes around"). it just means that the troubles that may befall your friend are undeserved, while the "countess" has nothing to complain about.

though, of course, she will :)

JMMEE said...

So well stated, Andrew. Would be that each one could be blessed to have even just one friend like yours - this world would be a different place.

sue said...

Andrew - I'm happy for you that you can spend time writing - it is somthing I would love to do.

What you say about inner beauty is a truth. Not too long ago my nine year old granddaughter said to me,
"The man I marry will have to love me for what I am like inside, and not my exteral looks."

We should all have that wisdom.

Farrah said...

Another hearty "Amen!!"

What can people be thinking???

makemeaspark said...

Mother Theresa would say that this woman has a different kind of poverty. a poverty of spirit. Where she thinks her worth is measured in money and gifts. It is really very sad.

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Andrew,

Very well said! but sadly i have yet to find a friend like that in this world, except for my husband. People like that are very few and far between. A freindship like that is a priceless treasure.

In Christ Jesus!
Tamela :)

Tamela's Place said...

Did i say "Like that" enough already! LOL!