Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Beauty of 14 Years

For Angie...

Beauty is revealed to different people in different ways. For those that dedicate their lives to the sole higher power that created everything from one corner of the universe to the next, all things are beautiful. However, I believe this is easier believed than seen. How many of us see the beauty in a homeless person asking for money or food? Or an invitation that would give them an exodus they may have lost hope in. It takes a lot of humility to attain the courage to stand on a median strip while holding a sign telling the world that you have no home. No money. No family. It is a crushing, heart-wrenching storyboard of their life. Black and white. No color. For those of us with homes, imagine something that was stripped away from you. Would you be able to put a sign around your neck displaying it for the whole world to see? There is beauty in what they do. Do we all see it?

My grandmother loved working in her garden. Often while mowing their yard, I would see her hunched over tending to the plants - fruits, vegetables and flowers. Giving all the glory to God while doing so. There's a permanent picture in my head of her with a handful of zinnias, each one as colorful as she was. There was a lot of beauty in what she did - which was usually for others. You are like her in that way. You're willing to go out of your way to get up close to the beauty others so often miss. Or ignore.

With every life, whether newborn, elderly or even those that let hate and anger rule their lives, there's beauty somewhere. Whether we're here for a fleeting moment or have a wrinkled soul upon our departure, there's beauty in every breath of every moment...within every person. Not every person sees it. Not every person feels it. Only the beautiful see it. Only the beautiful do something about it. It's rare. So is your beauty.

We're created with a unique blend of grace and love. Created with a purpose. There's beauty in all of it. We just have to sometimes be beautiful to know it's there. I'm amazed how you always see it. You always know it's there. But it goes beyond your vision. This is what separates you. I have known you for well over fourteen years and you have never taken beauty for granted. You have always gone beyond the appearance and looked at things from within. Every stitch. Not just the final product or result. You, my love, aren't just beautiful. You see it when no one else does. You act it out with effortless ease. This is why you are such a blessing to the beautiful people that see your beauty.

For over fourteen years, I have seen your beauty revealed to me in many ways. There was beauty when we dreamed under the stars long before marriage and kids. Beauty when you walked towards me down the aisle - a scene imprinted on my heart. There was beauty in the struggles of learning to live together. Beauty in bringing three gorgeous girls into the world. Beauty in your service to our family and our church. Beauty in how you make others feel special, important and relevant. Beauty in your imperfections and beauty in how you love me despite the many I possess. Beauty in your forgiveness, your grace when such actions would be too far beyond anyone else. Beauty in your aches and pain. Beauty in your desire to be better. There is beauty in your commitment and faithfulness. Beauty in the loved ones we have lost. Beauty in your joy.

Beauty, my love, is simply what you are inside and out. It radiates through your heart. Through your voice - as you uplift others with your contagious spirit. If there is such a person that envelopes the graceful compassion that we should all strive to replicate, that person is you.

You are amazing in all that you do. Thank you for loving me when I'm not lovable. Thank you for seeing the beauty in me when I struggle to find it myself.

With all my heart, I love you. 

Happy 14th!

Love, Ryan

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