A grandmother and a little girl whose face was sprinkled with bright red freckles spent the day at the zoo.
The children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. “You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a boy in the line cried.
Embarrassed, the little girl dropped her head. Her grandmother knelt down next to her. “I love your freckles,” she said.
“Not me,” the girl replied.
“Well, when I was a little girl I always wanted freckles” she said, tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful!”
The girl looked up. “Really?”
“Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why, just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.”
The little girl peered into the old woman’s smiling face. “Wrinkles,” she answered softly.
This story reminds me of the saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Its meaning can be taken literally as ‘the perception of beauty is subjective.’ In other words, it depends upon what one sees as beauty transpired from the heart. . .feelings of joy, peace, contentment or sadness, agitation, unhappiness.
The freckles of life are those little annoyances which if not perceived differently, lead to aggravation, frustration and unhappiness. The little girl in the story thought others saw her freckles as ugly which left her with a sense of unhappiness. This perception was challenged and changed through the eyes of her grandmother.
As a person ages, wrinkles are inevitable. They may be fine lines around the eyes or deeper almost rutted areas formed through years of hard work, worry and stress. The wrinkles of life add character but are too often perceived as making a once very attractive person ugly.
Whether freckles or wrinkles, true beauty is present when seen through the eyes of love. This is beholding to both humans and animals. Have you ever seen a cat or a dog with a blotch on one eye but not on the other, a straggly coat of fur that looks like it has never been brushed, a crooked jaw maybe stemming from an accident, one-eyed or eyes of a different color perhaps even crossed? How many times have you said, “Look at that UGLY cat?” or “Man, I would never own a dog that UGLY?” Are they ugly when someone cures them of hunger, heals their wounds, or cuddles them at bedtime?
The ugliest person, place or thing can be the most beautiful in the world when seen through the eyes of love. Next time you see someone or an animal to which your first reaction might be “UG-LY!” stop and think about the fact that that person is loved by someone somewhere in time. To them, they are beautiful!
May you have a blessed day enjoying the beauty of the world through the eyes of love!