Often, when I am at Haywood Street, my heart is so full that it overflows…and sneaks down my cheeks. I know. I cry a lot. The emotions just bubble up and spill over. My red nose is a dead give away! Like Rudolph, you can see me coming a mile away. The red nose looks pretty good on that sweet reindeer. Maybe it looks okay on me too! Beauty. I am learning to see it now. I have been looking at what the world calls beauty for way too long, but they have it all wrong!
I am making progress seeing true beauty. I have spent years being ashamed of my tears. Feeling weak, unable to control my emotions. Since being at Haywood Street, I have learned that God only made one of me, (and only one of you) and we are beautifully and wonderfully made. (God said that about EACH of us. He calls us BELOVED!) I am beautiful! Never thought I would say that about myself. But if God, our designer and creator made us in God’s likeness and image, we must be acceptable…good enough….just as we are! Yes. You and I can even say…we are beautiful!
We all can see God’s handiwork in others, why is it so hard to see it in ourselves? Beauty surrounds me as I look at my Haywood Street family. As a Companion on Wednesdays, I am privileged to spend time with some of the most real, determined, gifted people that I have ever met. Whether I hear a story of survival, pain, tragedy or triumph, it is shared by someone that I treasure. Someone that God treasures. And I see beauty.
Often a friend will share a talent in worship. An Original song played on the piano by Larry, a Rap presented by Delo that takes your breath away, or John playing the harmonica and dancing and so many more. Too many to name, but every one treasured. Held. Remembered. Every week someone gives a gift to us all. They simply give themselves and it is more than enough! The beauty touches us all and our hearts cry.
Beauty. Simple beauty. So much beauty that it makes my heart come out of my eyes, and makes my nose red…that’s okay! When I cry, I feel alive. I feel the overwhelming love of God around me. I see Christ in every face. It makes me overflow with the awareness of God’s presence in every person and everything. Sometimes the beauty is just too much. I can not contain it. And so I cry.
YOU are beautiful my Haywood Street Family.
YOU have shown me the beauty in each of you.
YOU have helped me see the beauty in myself.
YOU, I thank God for YOU, and the gift of weeping at your boundless beauty.