By Rev. Lori Ethridge
Minister to Senior Adults
At a recent show at The Fox Theatre, I saw Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Throughout the portrayal of her story, one of professional success in spite of a failed marriage with her husband and fellow songwriter, Gerry Goffin, I pondered the question, “What is beautiful?”
There is an old adage that says, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. One of our most beloved patriotic songs is America, The Beautiful, in which any number of things are touted as “beautiful” such as amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties. I cannot count the times that a church member has commented to me, upon exiting the sanctuary, “That was just beautiful” as Brian Parks works his magic on the organ. What do you consider as “beautiful”?
According to scripture, “Beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news” (Is 52:7 and Rom 10:15). Jesus says that the woman with the alabaster jar who anoints him at Bethany has done a beautiful thing to him (Matthew 26:10 and Mark 14:6). I invite you to reflect on what is beautiful to you, and begin making a list. My list includes the gnarled, arthritic hands of my grandmother, the photos of both my mother and my daughter on their respective wedding days, and the long-lashed deep blue eyes of my five-year-old granddaughter. Recently I have been a part of two services, a memorial in California for one of my husband’s dear friends, and the funeral for Avis Williams here at the church. The words expressed by family and friends at both services were beautiful to me. Undoubtedly this list of beautiful things will grow as I allow my heart and mind to expand and to embrace all that is beautiful around me. In the meantime I will do as Carole King admonishes in the lyrics of her hit song, “Beautiful”: “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face, and show the world all the love in your heart. Then people gonna treat you better; you’re gonna find, yes you will, that you’re beautiful as you feel.”
Feeling beautiful; hope you are, too.