One morning I pulled back the covers, shook the previous night's melatonin from my mind, and padded toward coffee. I headed to my daughter's house, where I had promised to cover for several hours during Thanksgiving break. I had planned to take my ten-year-old grandson and his friend to Red Robin to get them out of the house for at least part of their day.
We piled in the car and drove the distance. As we walked to the entrance, the wind bit my body, and I zipped my magenta parka vest closed over my sweatshirt. I pulled my swirling hair from my eyes. Once through the heavy doors, we were greeted by a beaming hostess, who welcomed us with menus. Such enthusiasm! What was she, fifteen? I hitched up my sweatpants and traipsed after the girl, aware of her youthful energy, her glow, her packaged happiness-and my own windblown, underdressed state. As she led us through the maze of tables, she tossed questions to me over her shoulder: "All ready for Thanksgiving?" "Do you do anything special to celebrate?" When I answered, she turned her head just enough to catch my eye and smile in response. She was actually listening.
We slid into the appointed booth, and the hostess continued her banter about the upcoming holiday and then turned our attention to some new techno game thingy installed in the booth. The boys' eyes widened with anticipation of new buttons and swipes and screens.
Then the girl paused-a bit longer than normal-and asked, "May I tell you something?" Sincerity and intentionality creased her young face.
"Of course." I said, ready for some bubbly recitation of food options.
"You are very beautiful."
The boys looked up at me from their techno game thingy. My grandson's friend, who didn't know me, squinted a bit. Marcus stared and smiled.
I wondered, was this a marketing gimmick of Red Robin? Were all hostesses now drilled to converse and compliment? Or was this young girl doing a pay-it-forward kind of investment on this Thanksgiving week? Maybe there was a competition at school for who could say something nice most often. Possibly she was a follower of Christ who had just studied a passage pushing application the night before at her small-group Bible study.
Or maybe this girl was Jesus with skin on, reminding me yet again that even here in the daily, all the time, he loves me and sees me as beauty full. A God graffiti moment meant just for me.
The old hiss whispered, "She doesn't mean you!"
I moved my mind around to view myself the way God views me. With sincerity and intentionality, I locked eyes with her and said, "So are you: beauty full. So are you!"
Pause for just a second, will you? Lock your gaze on Jesus and take a breath. Hush that Hiss. See what God sees.
You: Beauty Full.
Elisa Morgan's newest book, Hello, Beauty Full, is now available. Read it for your own growth, or share it in a group study. There are discussion questions and teaching videos available. Elisa is the cohost of Discover the Word and a regular speaker at events around the country.