Last week I started teaching a College course in Freshman Writing. Exhilarating, nerve-wracking, delightful, weighty.So thankful for the opportunity — so scared I’m going to mess up. In our first class we had an assignment to react / argue / write about a philosophical position after a class game and discussion on several rather bald statements. I like to do the assignment myself in “real time” whenever possible because I think it helps me as a teacher. So for what it is worth, here was my submission as a response to: “Outer beauty is important to love”. Very glad Professor Tawel isn’t grading me.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
by Mrs. Tawel
Outer beauty is important to love. If you do not find the person you love beautiful or attractive, then you don’t really love them. That doesn’t mean other people find them beautiful though, or that you thought they were beautiful the first time you saw them. It may not be a standard outer beauty at all.
When my first daughter was born, she was jaundiced and for several weeks was entirely mustard yellow from head to foot. We had to lay her naked in the sunshine to catch the Vitamin D. Eventually, we were told, with enough sunshine she would turn baby pink. Like a plant — sunshine and liquid.
Justine Nicole Tawel was also almost completely bald, well, actually it was a bit worse than being completely bald. She had hair on the back of her head, but not in the front, so she looked like she had a tonsure like the ancient Celtic monks used to wear.
She had a little pot-belly but she was extremely thin, with spindly arms and legs — remember, they were mustard yellow spindly arms and legs.
I can still see little tiny Justine wrapped only in a swaddling cloth diaper, lying on the floor on a blanket, in front of the apartment window to catch the California sunshine — all bald and yellow with her little round brown eyes, looking kindly up at me and I remember thinking to myself …………………
my baby girl is the spitting image of Ghandi!
And she was the most beautiful creature in the whole entire universe.
Because she was mine.
And I loved her.
And my all consuming love for her still sees her, twenty-five years later, as the most beautiful girl in the whole entire world. And I always will.
Just as I find my eldest the most gorgeous child in the world, whenever I look at Justine’s sisters, Clarissa and Verity, or her brother Gordon, my eyes are blinded by love at how completely beautiful they are. My heart aches at the perfection of their features — so perfectly created to be adored by me. Sometimes, I am so caught up in the beauty of what they are saying or doing that I forget for a moment, how lovely they are on the outside. The inner beauty of a Justine comment, a Gordon observation, a Clarissa delight, or a Verity intuition, shines so brightly into the world, that I have to step back and look in wonder at these Beings of Light. When I see a Clarissa hand helping, a Gordon hand working, a Verity hand instructing, a Justine hand creating — I am humbled and honored that God would allow me to love these Creatures of Eternal Beauty. My soul magnifies the Lord that He has blessed me with such perfection in these children of His, these four that He has allowed me to be the earthly guardian of.
My son and daughters, created in the image of God– Shine On. “Let your lights so shine before humanity, that all may see your beauty and good works, and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
For Behold! You are beautifully and wonderfully made.
My darlings, your beauty amazes me.