Day 30 the Beauty of Giving

Beauty has been mostly external in my life. I’ve measured the external appearances of houses, people and scenery in terms beauty. My idea of beauty. What I like, what appeals to my eye and taste. We all know the quote “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. We can attest to the truth in that comment as we look at our newborn babies, most of them looking like a pink wrinkled piglet or old man. In our eyes, they are beautiful. No one can see the beauty in our children or spouses quite the way we can.

That began to change when, quite unexpectedly, found ourselves in ministry with men in recovery. Men gaunt and malnourished from their diets of crack cocaine, some with few teeth from meth or extended cocaine habit.

These days they are younger and even thinner from heroin addiction. There are a few old school alcoholics, but regardless of drug of choice alcohol plays a vicious part.

Beauty is not a word attached to these men when they walk through our doors and may never fit an external description. The beauty has to be unearthed and refined much like a diamond found  deep within the earth.

Their beauty starts with willingness; willingness to surrender, to change, to give back.

For the past 7 years we’ve hosted a Fall Festival for our church counterpart. They load up the vans and minibuses and bring 50 or so kids to a warehouse we’ve decked out with Halloween decorations. They run a few games, take polaroids at our homemade photo booth, give out fresh made popcorn from our machine and take turns getting in the dunking booth.

All the ones in costumes

They FINALLY got me in a costume!
They FINALLY got me in a costume!

 

Ryan face painting

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When the belly is fed with eggs for breakfast, taco salad for lunch and baked chicken at supper, when there is purpose work in the day, a counselor to unload your burdens and a hot shower to wash off the old ways….when there are people praying for you, helping you, and loving you…beauty starts to bloom and it looks a lot like gratitude.

Gratitude gives back. To the new man not sure if he’ll stay and to the kids who have no idea what your life is about. They’ve come to get their face painted, dress up in a costume and play a few games. It’s an interesting dance we see unfolding of the most unlikely kind of beauty I ever expected to find.

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More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

4 thoughts on “Day 30 the Beauty of Giving

  1. Linda Stoll

    Good morning, Debby … thanks for redefining beauty, for giving our eyes new lenses to see what’s most meaningful!

    And speaking of beauty, great costume there, girl!

    We made it through 31 Days. Yay! So good to be getting to know you in the midst of it all!

    ;-}

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Hi Linda. My husband is the introvert but he’s the one who enjoys the costumes. I usually just have a themed T-shirt. Gotta love our differences. Thanks for all the encouragement you’ve sent my way and others. I have your blog bookmarked to continue to visit and make myself at home 🙂

      Reply

  2. Gabriele

    Unlikely beauty is sweet. That sounds like a fun Halloween party.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      It’s often the little things, Gabriele. At least the things that seem little and ordinary to us but meaningful to others. That’s a gift we all get to share.

      Reply

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