It is hard for one who use to be beautiful to accept ugliness. One must be brutally honest before the mirror and admit that illness, time and various adventures, both good and bad, have sapped one's beauty. I am more and more accepting this fact, but it is part of dying to self.
When I am in Malta, and this is the fourth time now, I am humbled by the number of truly beautiful women on this small island. God made Maltese woman beautiful, with lovely skin color, eyes like coal diamonds, fantastic dark hair, and great low voices.
For someone from the northern climes, with spotting skin, a mixture of grey, brown and black hair, and not the number eight figure anymore, to be surrounded by beauty is a huge lesson in humility.
If I had always been ugly, then it would not be so hard, but faded looks is now the name of the game.
Women were created by God to be beautiful, to show the world what beauty is and to civilize men and culture with beauty and grace.
Ah, there is the rub. There is no true beauty without grace. Grace adorns the inward life and may show forth to other people a small glimpse of the glory of God. Eve was supposed to give glory to God, but she failed the test.
But, for us ugly sisters, there is hope in God. The "hidden person of the heart" wherein lies the virtues is the real beauty God so desires of all of us ladies.
A gentle and quiet spirit is the opposite of the Maltese lady I heard today. Again, the second time this week, a car accident in the bus lane caused an hour and a half delay in our journey. The last time this happened, someone moved the two cars to the side of the street, so the buses could slip by. This time, we all waited and waited for ages. Then, this beautiful woman began a public tirade. Now, to be honest, her complaint did lessen the tension for many people as it was 90 degrees in the shade and tempers were short.
This physically beautiful woman carried on with complaints for a half-hour, then fell into using nasty four letter words. Her beauty became marred by her petulance and foul language. Here was an outstandingly beautiful woman of about 40 ruining her chance to bring loveliness into the world.
On the other hand, a peaceful, tiny woman endured the ordeal of the heat and inconvenience by radiating an interior peace and harmony. Although not as drop-dead gorgeous as the other woman, this small person brought a quiet beauty into the situation.
She has the jewel of God, a quiet and gentle spirit, so rare these days.