In Others’ Words: What do you see?

The only ugliness is that of the heart, seen through the face. And though beauty be obvious, the only loveliness is invisible.~ Herman Melville (1819-1891), American novelist

This is one of those quotes that I need to read s-l-o-w-l-y.

I knew I liked it the first time I read it … but wait … did I understand it? Let me read it again …

Ugliness of the heart. Ah, yes. That I understand. Emotions — reactions, intentions — best left hidden. And yet they are revealed in my eyes, the window to my soul.

And beauty-that-is-more-than-skin-deep.

How often do I focus on what I see in the mirror — obvious beauty, or the lack thereof — and miss the gentle loveliness of the invisible? Yes, mine … or someone else’s?

In Others’ Words: What beauty have you seen today?

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27 Comments

  1. May 23, 2012, 4:13 am   /  Reply

    I see beauty in the way you genuinely care for others here at Blue Ridge, Beth – the way you hug long, encourage thoughtfully and give of yourself freely. Thank you, beautiful friend. xox

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 5:41 am   /  Reply

      One of the most beautiful things here at Blue Ridge: Seeing you in person, Pat! An absolute delight!!!!!!

  2. May 23, 2012, 6:12 am   /  Reply

    Beauty–the tenderness in a mother’s eyes as she says good-bye and entrusts her children in my care, the gentle touch of a preschooler’s hand on her cheek as she tells me she loves me, a child’s sweet, sweet smile as he giggles about a special joke, the flower in a baby food jar vase given to me by one of my Little Darlings, hearing my mother’s voice on the phone as she asks for prayer for my sister whose job is on the line tomorrow, a toddler’s temper tantrum over a toy because it shows she’s developing as she should…and it’s only 8 a.m.

    Lovely post, Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:24 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for the glimpse into the beauty of your world, Lisa.

  3. May 23, 2012, 6:23 am   /  Reply

    I had to read it a few times, too. Going back for another read. That’s one of those deep ones I love, but takes a while to sink in.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:24 am   /  Reply

      I know, Wendy. I know.
      And I also know how you love unlocking the deep things like this…thoughts that move.

  4. May 23, 2012, 6:32 am   /  Reply

    I see the beauty, creativity and majesty of God in my baby’s smile!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:25 am   /  Reply

      So, so sweet.

  5. May 23, 2012, 7:06 am   /  Reply

    I saw the beauty of a sunrise this morning. And heard the mockingbird’s song. Yesterday I saw the beauty in an arthritic hand as it held a child’s.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:25 am   /  Reply

      Such divergent beauty, Pat.

  6. May 23, 2012, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    Several times I’ve found that some people I initially considered homely, as in Abraham Lincoln homely, actually had such wonderful inner kindness and spirit, I soon genuinely saw them instead as extremely handsome or beautiful. That’s teaching me to suspend judgment, to wait for God to show me what’s inside before I made a judgment. I’m richer for learning that lesson. Each new person and experience is an opportunity to discover.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:25 am   /  Reply

      And this is one of the reasons I consider you wise, Dee.
      🙂

  7. May 23, 2012, 7:26 am   /  Reply

    I love that quote and yes, I had to read it slowly…twice! I haven’t been up long, but I gotta say, I saw beauty in Lindsay Harrel’s blog post, my morning coffee and the honeysuckle candle in my living room. (I have yet to see my kids this morning or I’d include them!)

    • May 23, 2012, 9:56 am   /  Reply

      Friend! I love you!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:26 am   /  Reply

      Must go read Lindsay’s post, Jess.

  8. May 23, 2012, 8:22 am   /  Reply

    Hi, Beth. It comes as no surprise that you were inspired to write this while at Blue Ridge. Your words drip with poetry and beauty. Loved this. Blessings!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:26 am   /  Reply

      Thank you, Sybil, for such encouraging words.

  9. May 23, 2012, 9:04 am   /  Reply

    I had a horrible migraine last night and cried. Hard. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t work on my ms or do anything productive.

    But there was such beauty in the way my husband held me, rubbed my neck, told me it would be OK.

    And even though my headache remained, I felt better. The beauty of love and care.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:27 am   /  Reply

      What a wonderful husband you have, Lindsay.
      The beauty of a servant-hearted husband.

  10. May 23, 2012, 10:05 am   /  Reply

    Beauty in the concern and care on my kids’ faces when they realized I was in a funk last night. Both of them tried in their own way to lift my spirit. That beauty definitely peeked through!
    🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 11:27 am   /  Reply

      Nothing like the beauty of our children …

  11. Jeanne T
    May 23, 2012, 12:03 pm   /  Reply

    The beauty in my kids’ sleepy-eyed morning hugs and their curiosity in what I’m reading (okay, it’s the screen, but still I love the way they want t know more). Their smiles. Beauty on the lilac bush as lavender mingles with green with a blue back drop. The beauty in the way teachers view their students. Puffy clouds in a blue sky. Mountains with only a trace of winter’s white coat left on them. Spring time colors.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 12:16 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, I love lilacs … both the color & the scent.

  12. May 23, 2012, 2:31 pm   /  Reply

    I saw beauty in the face of a dear friend who is moving away from me this week. 🙁 It will be a stretching time for me, but I know the Lord has good things in store.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 8:37 pm   /  Reply

      Ah … hard times, Sarah. I pray your friendship thrives despite the geographical distance. As the wife of a military guy for many years, I’ve learned it’s possible.

  13. May 23, 2012, 3:15 pm   /  Reply

    Wow…I had to re-read that quote four times for it to sink in. Those are amazing words. Today, I’ve seen beauty in a calm, serene response to an overagitated person when such grace could have been easily shunned. There’s beauty everywhere…we just have to see it.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 23, 2012, 8:38 pm   /  Reply

      I often see beauty in the words of your blog posts, Donna.

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