CNN chatters in the background. The elevator doors open and close periodically. There is a constant hum from the nearby vending machine, the sound broken only by the occasional voice.
I am sitting in the surgical center waiting area. My middle child, Bryan, 14, was rolled into the surgical suite about an hour ago. I kissed that handsome kid’s forehead, and let the two surgical nurses whisk him away for two hours of sinus surgery.
It isn’t often that I am given two hours to do nothing more than sit. Most days, I am on my feet from before sunrise to long after sunset. Someone’s schedule—either mine or a child’s—dictates nearly every waking hour. Except for today.
I’ve read People magazine from front to back.
I scrolled leisurely through my emails.
I wrote two handwritten letters—each composed expressly for beautiful people.
And now, I’m typing away on my husband’s MacBook Pro, oblivious to the quiet activity that envelops me.
The pages of People were filled with the world’s beautiful most people. Heidi Klum. Kate Middleton. Angelina Jolie. Emphasis on the world’s, as in the media-hyped, society-defined, PhotoShop-enhanced beautiful people.
Truly beautiful people don’t necessarily wear makeup, or a size two. They might wear surgical scrubs and a comforting smile as they wheel a nervous 14-year-old away from his worried mom.
Beautiful people light up a room, usually unbeknownst to them. They pour out their love of life, and of others, with an emotional charge that could power Manhattan.
Beautiful people get in their car and drive three hours—not realizing until two hours into the trip what their exact destination will be–to comfort a disintegrating best friend whose hospitalized daughter has just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Beautiful people lift you up with praise, challenge you to adjust your point of view, acknowledge your pain, and listen without questioning. Beautiful people give generously, of their time, their wisdom, their encouragement. Beautiful people know what’s important—faith, hope and love. And they know what isn’t: the superficial fodder that obstructs our vision into the soul of another.
Handwritten letters #5 and #6 go to two beautiful people—my college roommate and beloved friend, Cathy, the one who jumped into her car and found me crumbling in a hospital hallway. And the other is written to my eldest daughter, Shelby, who loves me, organizes me, encourages me, challenges me, and motivates me. My 18-year-old girl is a whirlwind of energy and generosity—in spite of that damned cystic fibrosis diagnosis.
Beautiful people check me out at Wegmans, Kohls, and Rite Aid. They take my drive-thru order at Chick-Fil-A or McDonalds. Beautiful people answer phones, fix cars or furnaces, or teach children. They steal away for a night out to celebrate 27+ years of friendship. Beautiful, gentile, patient, uplifting people are all around me. And today, I see them not in the pages of People or Us, but in the pre-op room. Lynette. And in the recovery room. Erin. And in the neighborhood, getting my youngest son off the bus while I sat in a surgery recovery room. Christina.
Thank God for the beautiful people.
Be blessed—and be a blessing,