Sunday, August 11, 2013

That's What Makes You Beautiful.

Yep.  That's a title of a One Direction song.

In case you don't know, One Direction (1D to the truly enlightened) is a boy band that makes tween girls squeal with delight.

Last summer I took students to a mission camp called Passport.  On the last night a Variety Show is held.  Singing, dancing, joke-telling--you name it and a student does it.  The talent level may vary:), but everyone is welcome to participate.  I like it.

So it came as no surprise when one of the students sang "That's What Makes You Beautiful."  Most students sang with a friend or used an accompaniment track or played an instrument; but this fella had none of that.  He had a microphone, a CD of the song and a dream to be on stage.  That's it.

He took the stage and his nervousness was palpable.  Bless his heart. The music started and he was instantly frozen with a deer-in-the-headlights expression.  There he was before hundreds of teenagers--just a sweet, small middle school boy paralyzed with fear.  The CD went on singing without him.

The students were silent.  Little fella was frozen.  Adults like me were fah-reaking out--desperately wanting to help; but no one knew what to do...

but then something happened.

A rather cool looking high school guy slowly approached the stage, raised his hand high in the air and began jumping up and down in the most enthusiastic display of support I've ever seen.  He was alone for awhile, but that didn't phase him a bit.  He was jumping, smiling and encouraging the little 1D wannabe.

The singer was frozen for a moment more and then a huge grin filled his face.  He found the words again and he joined his #1 fan in jumping up and down. They were alone in their glee for about 10 seconds when hundreds of teens flooded the stage in love.  I wish you could have seen it.  It was beautiful.

I have been thinking about the word 'beautiful' lately.  Sometimes I use it synonymously with pretty, but I'm not going to do that anymore.  I want to reserve beautiful for moments like this one.  I want to use 'beautiful' to describe Christ's love in action, or when I can see Jesus' love on the face of another.  Beauty comes from the inside, and can make the outside more radiant--but the genesis of beauty is what's inside.  And let me be evangelical-y and say it this way:  If Jesus is in your heart, your gut, your being, your splankna (my favorite Greek word)--beauty will spill forth.  Beauty will be in your hands and feet and words.  Beauty will be personified by your actions.

THAT's what makes you beautiful.


  1. I love this story, Katie, and I love the challenge you left me with. YOU are beautiful! :)

    1. Thanks Dawn. I appreciate your encouragement and kindness. Praying you'll have a wonderful school year.