There is a blog I read regularly called NieNie Dialogues. I have been following this blog for about a year now. Some of you might be familiar with it (she was on Oprah a few weeks back – not that I watch Oprah). This blog is written by a woman living in Utah who was in a plane crash last year with her husband and a dear friend. The friend didn’t make it. Her husband sustained the fewest injuries, and recovered in less than a year with minimal burn scars.
NieNie spent months in the hospital in a coma – her family was preparing for the worst. But God was faithful in answering prayer, and she eventually came out of her coma. She was able to return home a few months ago. She has severe burns over a large part of her body, but particularly her upper body – arms, neck and face. She has undergone extensive plastic surgeries for skin grafts and tissue reconstruction. She no longer looks like the NieNie she once was, and that bothers her. My heart breaks for her.
In a world where outward appearance is so very important, it must be incredibly difficult for her to go from being a beautiful, vivacious, mother of four, to a person she doesn’t even recognize in the mirror. She told a story today on her blog of a very insensitive woman in the grocery store; and as I read it, I wanted to reach through the computer and hug her – she’s very brave.
So many times we’re insensitive in the way we act, react, address others, think of others, and feel toward others. Even when we don’t mean to be. Its almost as if we can’t help ourselves; we just spout off the first thing that comes to our minds instead of taking a breath and thinking it through before we put it out there for the whole world to hear. We are an incredibly hypercritical society – judging people instantly on what we can see, smell, and hear. Instead of looking past those things and at the person inside.
When I was younger, I was always so surprised to see a mismatched couple – you know the ones I mean. One of them is incredibly attractive and the other one is so not attractive – almost homely. I would think to myself (judgmentally), “Wow, he/she could have done a whole lot better than that.” However, as I’ve aged and matured, I have come to realize that in most cases, beautiful people aren’t always beautiful, and people whom society would consider unattractive are often the most lovely people in the world. Now I understand what those couples had that I was missing. They had the ability to see past this shell we’ve been given and to look at the person inside. Because, after all, that’s what really makes us who we are.