Have you ever had one of those incredible encounters? You know, the kind that there is absolutely no denying that it was a “God” moment. Even more than a moment, a whole visitation! And I got to be a part of it! It happened earlier today and I’m still up in the clouds about it.
So here’s what happened: After yoga this morning, I was changing in the locker-room. I just happened to glance up when at the other end of the room I watched a gal remove her top to reveal a bare chest. Not just a naked chest, please understand, but a “bare” one… double mastectomy. Her change was quick and she promptly put on her work-out top. But where her breasts should have been were two small lumps, each with a long scar through the middle. And it struck me! I mean it really struck me! Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “How awful.” NO! That is not what gripped me and this is how I knew it was a God thing. I was struck by the beauty of her chest! And this is also when I knew that I was experiencing one of life’s miracles. It’s when we as mere mortals, fallen creatures, desperately wicked and just plain ‘ol sinners- we can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, actually share a thought with The Almighty Creator! Now that’s a miracle. To high of a thing for my pea brain to try to comprehend and yet, it happened! My Heavenly Father put His Thought into my little brain!! He showed me what He thought about it. How it looked through His eyes and it elicited such deep emotion. That’s when I thought- I should tell her. Too many times God will give us a thought but we chicken out on acting upon it. Yes- it’s a risk. But if we as Christians are not willing to be Jesus with skin on to the world, then why do we even call ourselves believers. I always pray that I won’t chicken out. . I’ve chickened out too many times in the past- I must be getting braver in my old age. Yay! Besides, I look at it this way: it’s HIS reputation that is at stake and He always comes through. Love will always take the risk. I could not help myself but made my way through the room and stopped beside her. Now, I have seen her many times at this yoga studio. I placed my hand gently on her arm to get her attention. Then I said to her, “All this time and I have never seen your chest. I just saw it for the first time.”
She responded, “Oh… yeah, that.”
“I have to tell you. It is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I was struck by its beauty.”
“What? Oh my gosh- that is so kind of you!”
“No really, it’s beautiful! The feeling I felt is much like when I stared at my uncle’s Purple Heart medal.”
“Oh my gosh, really? I can’t believe you are telling me this. Did you know about my surgery last week?”
“No, I don’t know any of your history.”
“I was supposed to have surgery… to correct these, but I have too many health issues and they couldn’t do it.”
“Really.? I had no idea. I think God wants you to hear this.” (This is when I felt such a confirmation- IN A YOGA STUDIO NO LESS!!- that she is a believer. So I asked and she is! And she said she is in a great Bible study group.) So I said, “Then you have every provision from Christ to be able to understand what I am saying to you. YOUR CHEST IS BEAUTIFUL! The world and our culture have it wrong.” (And I pulled my face tight- you know- plastic surgery), “They think this is beautiful?? No- this (pointing to her chest) is beautiful. It is the deep things, the sublime that are beautiful. It tells a story of courage, fortitude, hope, and survival.”
She couldn’t get over that I was telling her all this. She must have hugged me no less than three or four times. She said that she would be pondering what I said for a long while. She also thanked me and thanked me for telling her. She informed me that she really didn’t think “they” were very pretty but she loved what I had said.
I thought about that. I never told her they were “pretty.” I said they were “beautiful.” You can put on a fancy dress and look “pretty.” You can have a nip and tuck of the chin and look “pretty.” But beautiful? Well, that can’t be bought, fabricated, counterfeited or faked. It is something much deeper, much richer, real. I think the angels in heaven look at her chest and marvel at its beauty. Do you know how the Bible defines beautiful? The hidden person of the heart. (1 Peter 3:4).
You see, for my yoga gal, her beautiful chest came at a great cost. Many times the beautiful is very costly. In her journey to attain that chest, she has endured pain that taught her fortitude. She has been acquainted with fear and learned to overcome it with hope. She has faced the unspeakable with undaunted courage. I see her often at the studio and I am so inspired by her life. She has always worn a smile and been very upbeat. And all the while she covers a chest that bears the scars (the beautiful scars) of every woman’s deepest dread. And I have never heard her speak a word of it or draw any attention to herself. And that chest? Well it is much like my uncle’s Purple Heart. It is awarded to one deserving of great honor. One who has overcome. Who has sacrificed. A hero. She’s now my hero. She’s every woman’s hero. And that is beautiful.