As a rule, I don't read the obituaries in the daily paper. Having pastored in East Texas many years -even before I knew him - my husband takes a moment each day to check them, hoping to not see a familiar name. But occasionally he learns of the death of an old friend that way.
However, one day recently, I was perusing the paper and a picture of a beautiful young girl caught my eye as the page turned. Her appearance radiated kindness, youth, energy, and love. I was drawn to read her obituary, hoping this was an old, old picture of a mature person who had lived a full life. That wish was not answered.
She was twenty-one years old when she died of a sudden illness. She was full of life, loved by everyone who met her, and always had a smile for everyone. She truly was what her picture portayed her to be. The article went on to say she was a dancer. Her life revolved around music and dancing. In my mind's eye I could see this lovely person dancing . . . her long blonde hair floating on the air currents, and I realized I was crying.
For whom? For her? Surely not. She is dancing with the Lord. What a beautiful sight that must be.
Then my eyes strayed to the picture next to her. It was an old woman. Eighty-eight years old. I've never met, nor seen, an eighty-eight year old woman whose beauty could compare to that of a twenty-one year old girl. At least not outwardly.
The old lady's family extolled her prowess in the kitchen. She could make the best rolls and the best desserts ever to touch your lips. She was a fun-loving wife, mother, and grandmother. And she would be missed very much.
My mind conjured up a picture of the beautiful young girl and the nice old lady approaching the gates of Heaven together. A tall willowy blonde standing beside a short, curly-headed, gray-haired granny. The blonde was twirling on her toes and smiling. The old lady shuffled along carrying a tray of cookies. Who was the most beautiful as they stood before the Lord?
Then I had an "I couldn't had a V-8!" moment.
It's a no-brainer. They both have new bodies. They're both filled with the Holy Spirit. As they stand before the Lord, His beauty is revealed in both of them. Two amazingly beautiful spirits have been added to the citizenry of Glory.
And it dawned on me, it doesn't matter how old, how fat, or how ugly we get . To Jesus, Who sees our hearts and not our earthly bodies . . . WE ARE BEAUTIFUL.