1 Peter 3:3-5 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” NIV
I am on the road again. Sweetheart is out of town and we are meeting in the middle for a weekend in St. Louis. I must admit that I am running on empty these last few days and it will be good to sleep in and let someone else clean up after me. I would say for a change but we all know that is laughable since everyone cleans up after me anyway. But staying in a nice hotel with those wonderful hotel sheets that you can’t seem to replicate at home and someone who will bring you food with the touch of a button is just a luxury that I can’t pass up. I am not one to be extravagant but once in a while you just have to. Two or three times a year I let myself have room service at a hotel and always end up wondering how on earth someone could justify charging ten dollars for a piece of toast and a cup of coffee. The mom in me goes crazy and I vow never to do it again. Till next time. It must be sort of like childbirth. The minute your done yelling, you forget about the pain. That’s how I ended up with so many children.
Traveling can be a very interesting experience. There is so much to do to get ready, so much preparation for just getting to your gate at the airline. Gone are the days of throwing everything into a backpack and running for the airplane at the last minute. I have to scrutinize everything I put into the bag, worrying that I might be accused of trying to overpower the captain with my electric toothbrush or take out a building with a pack of batteries for one of the toys I bought for the grandkids. I have to take off my shoes so I need to make sure I either have clean socks on or have had a pedicure. I would be mortified if anyone saw the state of my toenails when I am wrestling to get my laptop out of the bag, my 3-1-1 baggie, my license back into my wallet, my phone out of my pocket, and keep my unmentionables from falling out of my bag onto the belt. I then have to put it all back together and get my shoes back on. I used to wear all kinds of cool boots or heels when traveling but now that I have to take them off and put them on again, that’s gone. Have you ever watched a short round “fluffy” lady trying to wrestle a pair of boots on and off while holding onto a wobbly chair at the end of the security line? That would be me. trust me, it’s a youtube moment. You also want no big jewelry, no big metal hair clips, no fancy cowgirl belts, no food of any kind. Did you know that a really expensive jar of salsa you brought from that quaint little shop is now considered a terrorist threat? Really. Last I knew, there weren’t a lot of planes being brought down by chips and salsa. But who are we to question!
This time I was traveling incognito. Please ignore the laughter of my sweetheart and children while I explain myself. Usually when I travel by plane, I am headed towards a business conference of some kind. I am dressed very well, my hair and makeup are done, I usually have some extremely fancy useless nails on that my daughters talked me into, and I have jewelry on. Most of my friends and customers wouldn’t recognize me because that’s not my usual state of being. I am a dog groomer by trade and trust me when I say that the dogs are not impressed by my state of attire. I wear jeans and a smock to work, my hair is clipped up off my face, and I wear no makeup because dog hair has a nasty habit of sticking to your eyelashes if you are wearing mascara. Not impressive at all. When I am not working, sweetheart and I are usually blue jeans and tshirt people. It takes a lot for me to dress up. I will if I have to. I can if I must. But I would rather not. Not a girly girl. Sweetheart once asked me what my perfect date would be. I said folding chairs in the back of a pickup truck pulled up to the fence at a local rodeo. If you put a beer in my hand, I would be a bad country song but I don’t like beer.
Anyway, back to what I was saying. Look! A bunny! I left work late and headed for the airport. Blue jeans, ratty old red pullover sweater, my daughter’s backpack, and a really ratty disneyworld duffel bag that I love but looks like an 8 year old would drag behind them. I had no makeup on, no jewelry on, and my hair was rather wild having been brushed with a dog brush at the last minute. As I made my way to the gate area, what a difference I noticed about how I was treated. Rather rudely by some people. A well dressed woman in front of me was given first class treatment before she even opened her mouth. When I stepped up to the counter, the lady gave me a quick glance, dismissed me with her eyes, and rather rudely asked what I needed! This made me sad. Are we that shallow in our society? Is it that important that I be materialistically (is that a word?) beautiful to be treated with respect? I was polite and soft spoken when I requested an upgrade and she looked at me like I had grown two heads. She said none were available. I told her that I was looking at the upgrade list on my Iphone and would she please pull up my member number. Her expression immediately changed and her demeanor was very apologetic. I continued to be polite but how much respect I lost for her at that moment. A woman treating a sister like that just because I didn’t look like I was somebody. How very very sad.
I am glad that I am a somebody. I am glad that my Father looks at me every day and sees the inner beauty and the strength that my faith gives me. I am glad that I can look in the mirror, no matter how I look, and see a woman who is of great worth in the eyes of the only One that matters. Sisters, always remember that it matters not what we look like. We may seem like nobody but really we are all a somebody. The woman you look past today may be the angel you need tomorrow. I pray that I never consider outward adornment the worth of another sister. Our Abba has said that we will all be made perfect when we reach His side. Who really knows what perfection is? We may end up completely transformed from what we see in the mirror today. I would like to put my vote in for a thinner body but I’m not holding my breath as I would really like to live a little longer before heading off to heaven. Please let others see Christ reflected in me. Let my inner beauty shine forth and let me always be a welcome sight to a stranger in need. And please let me make my connection in Dallas and let my luggage make it to St Louis.