An Open Letter to Our Granddaughter

Dear Ansley,

When you were a child, you asked me, “Gramama, what is beauty?”

I did not have an answer then and twenty years later, I am still learning.

I grew up hearing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“Beauty is only skin deep.”

“Beauty is where you find it.”

“Beauty is all around us, but the blind cannot see.”

There is no answer to describe what may be beautiful to every person.

The only true beauty is in holiness, beauty in God that He reveals to the clean heart; for the eyes reserved for Him to receive what He chooses to give.

Beauty is found in His Word ~ written and Living in Christ.

Beauty in the Heart

“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:4

God sees the beauty of His own work in the hearts and lives of His children.

True beauty is seen by the soul; reserved for the humble heart.

There is beauty in the thoughts of those who know that God loves them.

Beauty is seen by the light (the light of Grace) that shines into the heart. The light that reveals the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

True beauty is hidden from the world because it is heaven-oriented, God-inspired, Spirit-breathed, and Christ-centered in His children.

True beauty, as God reveals it, is seen in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through His eyes, we see what He wants us to see, beyond the boundaries of our own little world.

Beauty is in the cross of the One who died, in Him who with open arms rejoices in those who come to Him.

Beauty is in the Shepherd that carries one of His sheep until he is able to walk on his own.

Beauty is following Jesus and sitting at His feet.

Beauty is the moment a person knows that He is God’s child, born of His Spirit for eternity.

It is His kingdom within us, making us aware of the beauty around us that others cannot see.

Beauty is in the heart that loves what God loves.

Beauty is seen in patiently waiting for the Master.

Beauty is accepting all that the Lord wills for our lives, in disappointments, trials, and suffering.

Beauty is the Spirit of Christ within the human heart speaking wherever we are, in our times of need, or prompting us to minister to someone else’s need.

“And let the beauty of our Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands;
yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it. “
Psalm 90:17

Beauty is in the hands of those who serve Him, and beauty in the work that we do for Him.

Beauty is in the peace of mind that only He gives.

Beauty is in the quietness of a moment, when the world around us is in chaos.

Beauty in Relationships

Beauty is living in humility to serve God and others.

Beauty is God’s love in action.

Beauty is seen in a smile when you least expect it.

Beauty is in gentleness.

Beauty is in an act of compassion.

Beauty is in the generosity of one who cares for others,

Beauty is responding to a need on a spur of the moment.

Beauty is in the sincere words, “I love you.”

Beauty is in a spontaneous hug for someone you don’t know.

Beauty in Nature

Beauty is seeing a butterfly light on a delicate flower petal, or a bee receiving the nectar of God’s provision.

Beauty is seen in the opening of a single flower that receives the rays of the sun after a gentle rain.

Beauty is seeing a flowing leaf find its resting place on the ground.

We have yet to see the beauty of His holiness. It is more than we can endure, now.

We will see His full beauty when He returns for His people, and the beauty of His world which He promises to us. 

I could not answer your question when you first asked. We have both been learning.   I can witness of the true meaning of beauty that is revealed by God to His children. You could add what you have learned since then.

If our eyes are opened to Him, we see His beauty around us and within us. We have the remainder of this life for Him to prepare our eyes to behold Him ~ and eternity to experience the beauty of His holiness and majesty.

As we wait, I am seeing His beauty in you.

In the love of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, a love that transcends all time and space ~ for His glory and our joy ~

Images: Google

The Prickly Pear Tree

The trees with white blooms that  are donning our landscapes this time of year  are Bradford pear trees.

From a distance one tree can appear to be a solid mass.  After the blooms the tree has dark, glossy leaves through the summer; and in the fall the leaves turn to autumn shades and even some of them to a deep maroon.  It is no wonder that this has become a popular tree since it was introduced in America in the 1960s.

We have a volunteer in our yard that grew from a seed from one of the trees in our neighborhood. We never wanted this tree in our yard.  We tried digging it up twice but it came back, and is now nearly 20 feet tall.

Like anything that appears so beautiful from a distance you may not know what is behind and underneath.  Get close to a Bradford pear tree and you will notice a distinct odor.  Get even closer and you will notice the prickly thorns.  They have shallow, but tough roots that can spring up anywhere around the tree.   And these trees do not stay beautiful forever.  After 20 or so years they become top heavy, and split off, sometimes right down the middle. Then there is the expense of cutting the tree down.

These trees remind me of human beauty that is only skin-deep.  If you get closer you will find shallowness, and thorns.  Human beauty without fruit is lifeless; you can look but derive nothing from it.  In time it will break from its own heaviness; and in the end it is good for nothing but to be cut down.


The Pear Tree with Fruit

Unlike the Bradford pear the pear tree that bears fruit is not beautiful to look at; but it can still be bearing fruit in its old age, seemingly struggling to bear up under the weight.  Beauty and youth are not what counts in the kingdom of God, but endurance and fruitfulness.  This is proof of the kingdom of God within us. 

The roots run deep, as Christ dwells within the heart; as we are rooted and grounded in His love, comprehending with all saints the breadth, the length, the depth, and height, and knowing the love of Christ, that is beyond knowledge, being filled with His fulness.  Ephesians 3:17-19

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2

“O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalm 34:8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:
and every branch that beareth fruit, 
he purgeth it,
that it may bring forth more fruit.

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples.”  John 15:1-8  

Father, please bear the fruit of your Spirit through us today. (Galatians 5:21-22)
In Jesus name I pray.  Amen

Related Articles: 

The Fruit of Grace
The Beauty of Grace in the Eyes of the Beholder
Adorned with Grace