by Lisa Velez
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March 31st, 2012
© Lisa Velez
All of us are beautiful. We come from the Hands of the Master, who has created no mistake. We look in the mirror, and oftentimes feel we don’t measure up to others, or what and who we want to be. We forget the truth that the Lord tells us in Psalm 139, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I was reminded of that today, in the sweetest way.
I went with my dear friend to a framing shop over here in Northern NJ, to have some paintings framed for our Church. As we entered the framing store, we were greeted by an old, sweet shi-tzu, Otto, with a happy tail wag. A few minutes later, his same-breed puppy friend and family member, Pumpkin, followed with a similar greeting. While "my dear friend" we’ll call him “R.B,” was talking to his friend/owner of the business, Walt, to get the job done, I started speaking to a sweet, mid-30-ish, blonde, polish, newly American woman, with the most beautiful accent and face.
Seeing how much I loved dogs, and of course, after showing her and the store owner a picture of my dog on my cell-phone’s wallpaper, the sweet polish woman started telling me about how she began to adopt sheltered, homeless shi-tzus. One of the dogs she had fostered a few years back, had come in to her possession in the most loving of ways. The woman, whose name I don’t remember, told me that, her daughter had heard of this dog and saw him at a shelter. Her daughter wanted to adopt the dog so bad, however the shelter manager, I’m assuming he was manager, told her “no, he’s unadoptable.” So, discouraged and heartbroken, the woman’s daughter went to her Mother’s house and spoke to her about this dog and what the manager had said.
So, taking on concern for this homeless wee-one herself, her Mom, the dear Polish woman, went to the shelter herself and told them she wanted the dog. The manager replied to her pretty much the same as he did to her daughter by saying, “He’s unadoptable.” The woman replied, “Why?” The manager answered, “You don’t want to adopt him, really, because he’s old and we don’t know how sick he is,” etc. The woman said, “Well, can I judge for myself?” So, with that, the manager brought out the old dog. The truth was plain as day to the woman. The dog was not one of real, red-carpet beauty, and had one eye higher than the other. His hair was matted and one could tell he wasn’t in good shape. However, for some reason, the woman decided to adopt him.
Once the woman got the dog home, she immediately fell in love as did her daughter. He wasn’t as sick as he was “claimed” to have been, and because the old dog wound up being so sweet and loving, he was beautiful to them. Despite his years of abuse, he held no grudge, yet shared what was truly in his heart, and in return received what he’d always longed for… Love in return. And so, for three years, until the old boy went to be in the Arms of God, He was given his earthly reward, of being shown just how special and loved he truly was, simply because of who he was, not what he looked like, and not what his past or ailments consisted of. He was given the three most wonderful years of his life and really got to live and be what he was created to really be; a blessing and a miracle.
Shortly after he passed, the woman and her daughter went on to start adopting other sheltered shi-tsus, saving lives.
The woman told me, “You know, I used to think that dogs were just dogs, and nothing much. That was until I adopted that old dog.” I said to her, “Yeah. We are all made by God, and nothing God makes is junk.” It’s true; nothing God makes is “Just” anything. Everything that comes out of His Hands is “wonderfully made.”
As humans, we look for the beauty that will fade. We desperately try to freeze the hands of time with creams and dyes and surgeries or needles, whatever is at our fingertips. Yet eventually it’s all money wasted down the drain as the future catches up to us and we change and age anyway.
I must say, in all honesty, that I am the same way. Ever since I can remember, even when I was a healthy, thin weight, I would look in the mirror and see disgusting and ugly. Now, being heavy the last almost 19 or so years, I still see the same in the reflection looking back at me.
What God is trying to get me to wake up and realize, as well as many others is that, we look for the “fleeting” beauty. Why is it we were given intelligence and instead use the part of the brain we sit on, half the time?
God wants us to realize that, we are all “Wonderfully” made by His Hands, no matter what anyone says.
I used to have a paper sign on the wall near my bed growing up that said, “God don’t make no junk.” I always remember that sign, for I have seen it other places since. It’s a little boy, pencil drawn, with his hands folded in prayer, wanting so desperately to know for sure if he was as special as people say he was.” I knew exactly how he felt.
People today tell me how beautiful I am, and I have a hard time receiving and believing that. I say things like, “I know God doesn’t make any junk, but I made myself fat.” They reply that I can change that, but I’m still beautiful. Only I never see it. I’m working on it though, with the assistance of Heavenly Angels I have been given as good, close friends I call and consider family. They always will be too, as a matter of fact. They are my miracles. I Praise God for them every day.
And so, talking to the sweet polish woman today about her adopted dog experience, reminded me of the love of God; the love we should be giving others. We need not to “Judge a book by its cover,” as we all often do, truthfully; for underneath it all is a heart of gold waiting for us that is yet to be uncovered. Our blessing as well as theirs, whether human or beast is waiting for each of us there; as a gift waiting to be un-wrapped. For the old dog the woman adopted was no show dog, but to her, he was “Best in show,” because of what was in his heart.
We’ve all been given gifts in life that were wrapped so beautifully on the outside, but instead, inside the box or bag, was something we wish we never received. How about we open up a box full of holes and damages, like the sweet polish-woman did adopting that little dog, and un-wrap the gift of true beauty… The Love in all our hearts, planted there by the Hands of the Ultimate Gardener, GOD Himself. Good idea, huh? I certainly second the motion. Who’s with me?
True beauty… Isn’t it what’s it’s all about? After all, Jesus was nothing to look at either, on the outside. Yet inside was a flawless pearl, unlike any other, and once unwrapped, lives were saved and changed beyond anyone’s deepest imaginings. HE was born of a virgin, in a dirty and stinky stable, where animals defecated. He was poor and loved by many, hated by others. Yet, HE was and is the most beautiful of beings any one of us could encounter; and that Beauty showed its Face as He resurrected from the Grave, defeating ugly death and it’s “So called” power. He, Jesus, was and is Stronger and Greater than hate and anything else that comes in our contact in our earthly walk.
Such a little story I was told today by this “Truly Beautiful” polish-woman, however such a BIG message. True beauty lays not on what fleshly eyes can behold, but what indeed is within the heart. Some people say, “Oh only ugly people say that.” Oh really? I doubt that, because if they feel that true beauty is in the heart, then they are indeed more beautiful than those that think and feel the opposite.
So, look in the mirror. Remember how “Wonderful” is the “real and true reflection” of that person who was made, not because of the physical features, but because of what the heart reflects all over his or her being; the light of God and His Love that lives within the heart; a truly-beautiful light that will never burn out. We are called to be a reflection of Jesus. To be that, makes us indeed truly beautiful…
“Sometimes we see things as we wish to see them, and not for what they truly are.” © NCIS.
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