Apr 19

Inside out

I had this plant that was ugly…and there aren’t any other words to describe it, just plain ugly. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. When I first got it and it was young, it was beautiful and I couldn’t help but let my fingertips touch the smooth petals when I passed.

Then it got old, lost it’s flower, and became just plain ugly.  Photo 149

It had gnarly, brown stems that were barely alive, no leaves and in all honesty, it was actually depressing just to look at it all bare and homely in it’s small brown pot.

I contemplated tossing it out. Throwing it away. What’s the point anyway, when I can’t see any beauty. There isn’t any worth in it. 

And then as if it knew I was contemplating its demise, it started growing a tiny green bud that made me sigh in exasperation. 

Why won’t it just die so I can throw it away. I mean really.

But then the bud got bigger and bigger. And slowly it opened wider and wider each day until a perfect flower so beautiful and elegant and awe-inspiring gazed up at me.

And I was ashamed. Ashamed of myself for doubting that beauty was held underneath, hidden away just waiting to come out. To think I had almost thrown it out without a second thought.

I saw something a few days ago that has been haunting me ever since. After I watched it, I went up into my room and cried…I couldn’t help it.

It was so intensely beautiful.

Thinking about it even now causes tears to well up in my eyes, and I find that my heart seems to be expanding inside me.

Her name is Susan Boyle, and probably most of you have heard of her already, maybe you’ve watched it on TV or youtube like I did. 

Britain’s Got Talent. A full house, three harsh critics, thousands of people auditioning, millions watching.

Out she comes.

Nothing special about her at all. She is forty-seven…not exactly the age that talent scouts are searching for or the vision of beauty that magazine editors are looking for to represent beauty, sophistication or success.

She isn’t wearing the latest fashion, nor is her short frizzy hair done up for the show. She is not beautiful nor is her body. She’s not wearing any makeup and really there is nothing there that made people gasp with awe. Nothing that even made them think she had anything to offer.

Right before the music played the camera’s pan to the audience that can be seen scoffing, rolling their eyes and laughing.

“How could she be anything special?” You could practically hear the words pulsing through the crowd. “She’s ridiculous and could never offer anything that we’d want. Why doesn’t she just get off now.”  Everyone expected, hoped, wished for her to make a fool of herself. She was not pretty enough or young enough to be worthy of their respect upon first glance.

Then the music of Les Miserable began soft in the background behind her and as everyone held their breath she smiled ever so slight.

And then from out of this woman’s mouth came beauty that no one expected…that no one imagined.

It stunned the judges and shocked the audience to their feet.

And the part that makes me cry the most is that moment–that instant–when she proved them all wrong. When she sang out the beauty inside her and made us all realize that really and truly, despite what everything around us shouts, worth is on the inside of a person and not the out.

The scene was beautiful and elegant and awe-inspiring–No–she was beautiful and elegant and awe-inspiring.

And I hope that I never forget that moment, I hope that the world never forgets that moment.

That moment when such angelic grace burst out of an ordinary, common-place human and showed all of us what true beauty really is.

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