Beauty Unexpected

Posted by Sooz on Monday, May 2, 2011 | 1 Comment

Meet today’s guest writer, Sharon. Sharon’s talents and interests are too numerous to count, but among them are teaching, writing, period costume construction, movie direction, thrifting, and antiquing. She and her husband share a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and her goodness can be clearly seen in the way she shares her passions and in the way she “sees”. Here is her story…

When my husband and I first married, he was quite successful as a small business owner with a chain of local coin laundries. It was profitable but far from glamorous. I soon found myself spending the summer painting an un-air conditioned Florida laundry, and many a night-out ended with me in my heels cleaning up a flood from an overloaded washer.  Yet, in the midst of the heat and dirt and grime, I found beauty and goodness in the most unexpected places. I discovered in this coin laundry world people who I would never have paid attention to before – people who showed me that class has nothing to do with personal finance. The most memorable individuals were my husband’s cleaning help.

First, there was Hubert. Money slipped through Hubert’s fingers faster than he could make it, but what he lacked in finances he more than made up for in good humor. His gift was celebration. Every holiday, however obscure, he would wake us up to call and wish us a happy day. He never missed a holiday, including a few I’d never heard of. To this day, I think of him every Columbus Day or April Fool’s Day.

Next was Starla. When Fred first met Starla, he thought she was a homeless bag lady. She wore layers of mismatched clothes, always a colorful rag on her head, and she was forever collecting tin cans, candy wrappers, and other items left lying around by customers. After awhile he noticed that she also spent a lot of time thoughtfully cleaning, so he hired her.  She remained with the place as long as he owned it. She became a “Mama” to everyone who entered the store. Her heart was full of love, and she watched over the store and cared well for all the customers.

Finally, there was Larry and Merry, a rough looking couple. They looked like members of a motorcycle gang, but they were two of the gentlest, kindest folks I’ve ever met. They had servants’ hearts and gave 200% to whatever they did. They were always looking to see how they could best do the job and always did it with a spirit of enthusiasm and joy. They had so little, but what they had they gave generously, even to those who had more than them. When they moved, they left a hole that was hard to fill.

Hubert, Starla, Larry, and Merry taught me that true beauty goes far beyond surface appearance. To find beauty in others, we sometimes have to look past a rough exterior and see what God sees – the heart – because the heart is where true beauty lies.

A “Good” Idea :

Think of the people in your life that you tend to overlook. They might be people you see in the grocery each week, on the job, or in your favorite restaurant. Take a moment to look at them – to “see” them. Strike up a conversation or inquire how they are doing. They might be a good friend in disguise.

One Response

  1. Melanie says:

    Love this story…. We are always so rushed in this life and we all should take time to stop and “see” the people around us. Thanks for remind me of this!

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