This is Alex and Alex. Best friends who happen to live right next door to each other. They love matching outfits and accessories that sparkle. They love to tell people that they are twins… uhhh, girls, maybe you should go with fraternal twins.
They think life is wonderful and full of beautiful bugs to be held and dance numbers just waiting to be created. Sometimes they make perfect sense, like bribing Alex’s younger brother Zeke with candy so he won’t follow them as they climb onto the roof of my car, brilliant girls, it totally worked. Wait, girls, why are you climbing onto the roof my car. “It’s the perfect spot to lay out blankets and do crafts,” yeah, nope, no sense in that one.
Today I took the Alexes ( in our house that’s the plural of Alex), Brooke and Zeke to run a few errands. First stop, Target. Now, my Alex’s birthday is coming up and she really wanted boots. I was planning on looking at Nordstrom since this was her big gift, but she insisted on seeing what Target had to offer, wohooo, seriously, I might get off easy this time! She said she didn’t know exactly what kind she was looking for, but that she would know them when she saw them, the other Alex chiming in, “I’ll help you, Alex.” Scratch that- cheap, but definitely not easy. Two eight year olds making a fashion decision. NOT EASY.
I pointed her towards the pink cowboy boots with the fancy stitching design on the sides. Oh yeah, these were definitely Alex. But, it was too late here eyes were already locked on the faux suede grey boots on the top row. The were simple, with a few tassels on the side. I’m not sure what happened in the universe at that very moment, where mute grey beat out hot flashy pink, but there was totally a shift in our little corner of the world.
We found her size, and they yanked out the box which of course was in the middle of a huge stack of boxes. I don’t know how kids do it, but they get so excited that when they yank, like five other boxes go flying, shoes and tissue busting out everywhere. Seriously, they act like its Christmas, ripping off the lid and tearing through the paper… as if they don’t know what’s in the box.
Back to my point. So, the girls pulled them out and squealed. Alex threw off her shoe, and shoved her foot into the new boot. Before she even had a chance to stand up the other Alex hoisted her foot in the air, examining the newly found treasure, “Oh my gosh, Alex, you have got to get these. They are the most beautiful boots. Look at the bottom!” My Alex yanked at her foot, straining to see what all the fuss was about, and with her foot in the most crooked position now hovering over her face, she shrieked, “You’re right. This is the best part! I can’t believe it.” I seriously thought they had lost it, ogling over the black soles of these boots, which in my opinion were quite mediocre to begin with. But as I leaned in closer, I could see what they were talking about, imprints of peace signs and hearts and flowers.
Ahhh… there it was. You see, in this case, the real beauty was on the bottom- underneath- and I couldn’t see it from where I stood. I wasn’t close enough.
This beauty would go unnoticed, but Alex knew it was there and the other Alex, who took the time to sit with her and examine the boot, she knew it was there. And when Alex wears her new boots that we just haaaad to get, they will both know of the true beauty hidden below, carrying her throughout her day. Do you see where I am going with this?
Oh, dear sisters, what gives us beauty isn’t just what others can see, for that will fade really quick without a beautiful sole- a beautiful soul.
It always does.
It always does… but the Lord designed us in a way that the true beauty is what lies underneath- the faith that shapes how we interact with others, the core values that shapes our decisions, the sturdy part- persistence and strength- that takes us to the highest of peaks and the lowest of vallies.
That. That right there is where true beauty lies.
From afar, it will go unnoticed. Even up close it will often be missed, except by loved ones who take the time to study the beautiful detail etched within.
From a distance all one can do is admire the outside, the beauty of the boot, but ahhhh, dear sisters, it’s the bottom that determines how we walk through this life. Maybe it’s time, dear sisters, we stop. Stop. Stop and take the time to grab our ‘boot’ grab the ‘boot’ of another and examine the beauty, the subtle design, “the best part” of who we are, that lies underneath.