(Originally Written May of 2010)
While finishing up my degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, I took a part time job at a tanning salon. I encountered many women who were impatient and selfish with their identity all wrapped up in their sex appeal. These women that I would encounter daily had extreme standoff-ish outer beauty that is uninviting at best.
But one afternoon a naturally beautiful woman walked in. I noticed her because her demeanor was gentle and she didn’t look all done up. She was there to get a spray tan and had a funny request. “Do you have any trash bags? I need two of them for my legs.” I got them for her and she engaged me in a delightful conversation.
Her heart was so loving, so soft. She revealed to me that she lost both of her legs 10 year ago in an accident. I would have never known that she had two fake legs. She was wearing skinny jeans and walked normally. She told me she was a model and ran a non-profit organization too. I was so blessed by her that day.
I couldn’t help but wonder if she was not involved in her accident, if her heart would still be that beautiful….or would it be hard like so many young women today?
I grew up in southern California. I saw my first Cosmopolitan magazine when I was 11. Sadly, it made me obsessed with beauty. ”Wanting to be beautiful” held me captive for many years. Endless wishing, striving, and wanting more than God gave me, never being satisfied and content.
One day I was reading the bible and came across the story of God’s prophet Samuel. He was supposed to go to Jesse’s house and find the next King of Isreal. Jesse had several sons and Samuel thought Eliab would be the chosen one. But here is what GOD said, “Do not look at his appearance or physical stature, because I have refused him! For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
In my own life, The Lord has used the tragic things to remind me that there is a life to come and what I currently see and can touch is quickly passing away. I can’t help but wonder if what is stated in Matthew chapter 18, about cutting off and throwing away the part of us that can drag us into sin, is tied in with our personal tragedies of life. Will what we suffer here echo for our own benefit into eternity? No one can know for sure until we are on the other side, but as I was emotionally struggling that day at work with my own two feet intact, a women who tragically had hers taken from her was able to warm my heart and leave me with more hope than I had.