Is beauty evolutionary?

What do you think about this drawing?

picture by heidi

Richard Seymour in this TED talk asked his audience what they felt as they viewed this picture. He looked at their faces. Then he told them the story behind it . . .

But first. I knew Jody had a story behind her, too.

The first time I saw her, I wouldn’t have said, “Wow! She’s beautiful!”

But sitting in the folding chair the Saturday morning of her memorial service, I definitely thought, “Wow! She’s beautiful!”

What made the difference? She had lost all her hair in the meantime. She had grown skinnier. I saw her less often.

But the stories I learned about her grew. I heard about the rough lifestyle she’d been living just a few years ago. About her coming through Manna House to pick up food, and how one of the volunteers insisted she decide herself which meat she wanted because her opinion mattered.

About how she found Jesus and he changed everything for her.

By the time I met her, she’d already changed sides of the line, from receiving food to handing it out, from feeling hopeless to sharing her Jesus hope with overflowing enthusiasm. She was a faithful volunteer that everyone seemed to know and love. So when her cancer wouldn’t let up, everyone’s heart was hurting.

Because Jody had evolved into a beautiful soul.

When I looked around at the people who wanted to pay last respects at her memorial service, I saw her beauty reflected in their eyes as well. These were people she loved, people she served, people she did life with.

When we learn the story, we uncover the beauty.

. . . Now here’s the rest of the story about the picture above.

This drawing was the last physical act on earth that a 5-year-old named Heidi did before she died of cancer of the spine.

Scroll up to see the picture again.

Now do you see it as amazing? As hope-filled?

As beautiful?

Listen for the stories. Discover the beauty.

* * *

What (or who) have you seen grow in beauty the more you learned the story? Please share.

19 thoughts on “Is beauty evolutionary?

  1. Dianna

    Jesus does change us from the inside out…where the beauty of the soul truly blossoms. Thank you for sharing about Jody’s life and her service for the Lord she’d met. A beautiful reminder that we need to see life through HIS eyes and not so much by our physical eyes.

  2. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! This only underscores for me the importance of our stories. What happens to us is of infinite importance to our God, so why wouldn’t we honor and be interested in each others?

    If someone found this precious pencil drawing on the sidewalk, they’d walk right by it. Or throw it away. It’s our experiences that make us connect to each other.

    What a gentle way you have in portraying how important we really are. My heart goes out to you on the death of your friend. But what a story…. God is so good to us.
    PS I successfully moved my blog, thank you for your insights! It’s still a little funny getting around it, but I’ll get there 🙂

  3. Mia

    Dear Lisa
    Isn’t it just wonderful to know that we do not mourn without hope for we know we will one day be together again with all these dear people in heaven. I cannot wait to meet you all. What a day it is going to be!!
    Blessings XX

  4. Trudy

    “When we learn the story, we uncover the beautiful.” I thought the picture was beautiful when I first saw it. I love the “flying free” butterfly. 🙂 But hearing the story of the artist adds such a brightness to it and such a profound meaning. She is now totally free in Jesus. Thanks so much for sharing this, Lisa!

  5. Krista

    Hi Lisa!
    This really made me stop and think. How many people do we look past daily that truly have beautiful hearts, beautiful spirits. If we would just take the time to get to know them I think we would be surprised at what they can share with us. 🙂

  6. Renee

    Oh this is beautiful, Lisa. Powerful. Words have me in tears repenting of my complaining today about the bitter cold…..seeing the suna nd cold and snow a bit differently after your post. Attitude change 😉
    Thanks Lisa………..

  7. Beth Werner Lee

    First, I’m sorry. When there’s a lot of comments in a post (coming over from the linkup at Bonnie’s) I figure mine’s not needed; I don’t need to take the time to add to this one. But that’s utilitarian and perhaps proud. So, I’ll try to change that. I often read and don’t comment on your blog, Lisa! Sorry for lurking here.
    Second, thanks for the TED link. I never seem to get around to watching TED talks. Maybe I should.
    Third, I love your story. Love how beauty grows especially from within, outward. I’m sorry for your loss of Jody, glad for your sweet in the bittersweet of loss. Thank you for sharing this meditation on true beauty. Sorry for my awkwardness in comment-land.

  8. Patty

    Wonderful perspective — how hidden beauty is revealed when we are patient enough to look for it. Thank you for sharing this. I have actually experienced this in my own life — finding more beauty in my own heart than I had believed was there when I was less whole. God has confirmed beauty in places I hid. He sees beauty in us when we do not — as Michelangelo saw David in the Marble before he even started carving. You inspire, Lisa, with your gift of storytelling for His glory.

  9. Debbie

    I love this Lisa! First of all, every time I read or hear about a transformed life through Christ I am awed. He is the God of the impossible. Only Jesus …

    I love how you shared the story of Jody. And I have to say that after reading the account of the little one who died, I had to go back and view that drawing again. Wow; what a difference as it adds so much more meaning.

    Thank you for sharing your view here on beauty; not as the world views it but more importantly how God views it.

    Blessings and love,

  10. Pingback: On the blog–January 2014

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