Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Worth your weight

So, I was about to pump gas. I mean, after I flipped the visor mirror up for just one more look.  And okay, taking a moment or two to fish in my purse for my lip gloss. And while I was at it, some powder. And fine, whatever, maybe some mascara...

Truth be told, I personally didn't like myself much today. I'd just gotten off the phone with my total blonde of a rheumatologist who wears leopard print leggings and heels with her lab coat. (Oh, I wish I was kidding.) The one who clapped in sheer girlish glee when she discovered (squee!) that I had "evidence of [some unusual type of] arthritic activity" in my spine.  

"Oh I knew it was possible! My colleagues didn't think so, but with you... oh I knew it!" she gushed. "Wait till I file the report!"

I had smiled blandly, waiting for my doctor to realize what she had said to the person with the spine in question who was sitting in front of her.

"Oh. I'm sorry. It's just that... this is so... rare. I mean, really, wow..."

Yeah. I'm rare. Felt "rare" today, starting with the phone call from "Dr. Barbie's" secretary who explained that "an x-ray was just as good as an MRI." When I disagreed, I was offered an appointment to speak with the dear doctor in person. 


I continued feeling "rare" when I stepped on the scale this morning. The vagaries of my various meds cause fluxuations, but then again, so does increasing the amount of chocolate one consumes. Maybe drinking coffee that was too sweet.  And okay, I had, I guess.  And I've been exercising more but sleeping less and the scale wasn't fooled. But I could trick my phone into finding the right angle...I only seem to take "selfies" when I'm trying to prove something to myself. In the end, it only proves that I'm having a rather "off" day, as is probably already demonstrated by my "Tempest" cast shirt:

"It's not like your worth decreases when your weight increases, you know," I said out loud to the cold square I stood on.  But then I realized I needed to say it a couple more times to make it feel remotely true. 

So back to where I'm gonna pump gas, for real this time. But first, I take a moment to look at an exhausted mom in that visor, and half-heartedly swipe at her with makeup. 

I grinned, but primarily to look at my teeth. Coffee wasn't helping there either...

"You're beautiful!"

Startled, I snapped the visor shut, automatically looking apologetically towards the muffled voice. What the heck...

A friendly face. A bright smile that barely cleared the passenger's closed side window. A woman who was not a day younger than 80.  

"You're beautiful." And turning her head of ivory-permed hair, the sweet little lady walked slowly back to her vehicle; it took her awhile to arrive. It must have taken her awhile to come over to me, as well. A deliberate journey of kindness to the mom in the mini van mirror. And a sacrificial one as well; being "rare," I understand the price of extra steps for elderly knees, hips, and spine.

Realizing I had obviously been tarrying too long before buying petrol, I jumped out of the van and swiped my card. Quickly blinking back tears, I peered at the woman who deliberately walked to replace the gas cap, gingerly got into her car, and drove away before I could collect myself to thank her for one of the nicest compliments I'd ever received.

I wish I had returned the compliment. I bet, 50 years ago, she had been beautiful in appearance; I could see past the wrinkles well enough.  And she was definitely still beautiful, possibly even more so with age: to be able to confidently approach a complete stranger with a possibly unwanted compliment, just because she wanted to lift someone's spirits... yeah.  She's beautiful.

I'd talked myself out of the urge before. To tell a teen fussing with their hair or smoothing their clothes that they were beautiful. To tell an elderly person with a laugh that made those around them smile that they were beautiful.  Sure, maybe they wouldn't appreciate it; it's possible they'd get irritated...

But maybe they can't see that truth in the mirror. Maybe you're the only person who sees it. The only person who tells them that they're beautiful that day, or that week, or that year. Or maybe you're the only person they would believe, because... well maybe they are told they're beautiful, a lot, but by the same person who also has said so many, many other things...

Sometimes it's easier to believe a stranger saying something nice to you. At any rate, it was easier for me that day.

So I'm gonna say it right now: you are beautiful, dear reader. Maybe today you can't see it yourself, but I can. Even from here. And you are well worth the time it takes to get out of a car and walk over and tell you that. 

You're beautiful, and you uniquely reflect the beauty of your Creator in a way no one else does or can. Your worth does not change with your weight. Or your age. Or your income, where you live, what you own, what you wear, or so many of the foolish things we use to weigh a person's worth, particularly our own.

You're beautiful, child of God. Just... beautiful.

And now, I suppose I should make my kitchen look beautiful too... ;)

"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts..." 
Col. 3:12