1 Peter 3:3-5 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves."
Early in college this verse challenged me greatly. I deeply desired to live a life full of character. I remember reading this verse and saying, outward beauty will fade, but what is a gentle and quiet spirit? And then I met her. Probably the sweetest and most caring girl I will ever meet. She later became my roommate, Jen Bontrager.
Jen is so beautiful. Yes outwardly, but more importantly inwardly. What I learned from Jen was her ability to wait to speak. When everyone fought for "air time", she waited. Her words were well thought out and very meaningful.
She was gentle not only in word, but in deed. She would often observe someone in action and then respond with the greatest of care, meeting a need that was only noticed when one took time to find it. I learned to see beyond the "outward adornment" and to see what was really on the inside. It's amazing what you can learn if you stop, listen and look.
I learned a great deal from Jen and still draw off of those lessons. In a world so focused on beauty and less on character, my desire is to be one with a gentle and quiet spirit. I still have a lot to learn, but so thankful God gives me living examples of His truth.
Thanks Jen for teaching me one of the greatest life lessons. You have changed my life, thank you.
(I wish I had a picture to post of her. Unfortunately, all of our pictures are not digital and I don't have scanner.)