Not because of what you're wearing. Not because they like your jewelry or your tie, though maybe they do. But your clothes aren't the point. Not now.
Not because they want something from you and are trying to butter you up. Not because you did something for them and they're trying to thank you. Just because it's true.
I'll tell you, then. You are beautiful.
There is beauty in your eyes. When you let your neshama, your soul, shine through -- it takes my breath away. There's beauty in your hands -- in everything they do, have done, will do in the world.
There is such beauty in what makes you you. I know that the world we live in doesn't always feel like a safe place to let your light shine. I know that you don't always feel beautiful. But believe me: you are.
I wish I could make your life endlessly sweet. I wish I could smooth the rough edges, gentle away the sorrow, remove suffering from your path. I can't, because those things aren't given to me to do.
But I can tell you that you are beautiful, and that you are precious, and that I cannot fathom that a loving God put you on this earth to suffer, and that I want every good thing for you. Every single one.
I can tell you these things because I have been blessed to hear them myself. And I know that if they are true for me, then they are true not only for me. And if I needed to hear them, maybe you do, too.
I know that we are all reflections of God's beauty. I don't always see that beauty in myself, but when I look at the people I love most in the world, their beauty is more than I can describe in words.
I look at the people I love, and I want their lives to be paved with kindness, with gentle encounters and generous conversations, with an endless outpouring of love, because they deserve every good thing.
I believe that God sees each of us that way. The heart-overflowing limitless endless love that I feel for the people I love most in the world -- God feels that way toward every one of us. Can you imagine?
Think of the person you love most. How beautiful they are to you, because you see them through the eyes of love. Now imagine yourself, seen through the eyes of someone who loves you that intensely.
Because some One does. Even if you feel completely alone in the world. Even if life right now is hard. You are beautiful in those eyes. And you are beautiful in mine. You are beautiful because you are you.
The image illustrating this post comes from the folks at you-are-beautiful.com. It's one of the two bumper stickers on my car.