There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. – R.W. Emerson
I was going through some of Emerson’s writings while I wrote my latest article for The Clyde Fitch Report, and came across the passage above. Emerson hits on something that I have noticed, and I bet you have as well. I can’t explain it, but take a man or woman’s complexion hardened by time, cold, and pain and watch its transformation when he/she is engaged in caring for another. Divine lines and lights mold and gild the complexion until it glows and radiates God’s love. The opposite is true as well. Take the most beautiful and loveliest when engaged in greed or hate — a darkness and hardness replaces the beauty.
There is not a virtue, the exercise of which that will not impress a new fairness on one’s features. When we are engaged in God’s work all our movements and gestures become slightly different, they acquire a grace and gentleness of motion. Hemingway once wrote, “Courage is grace under pressure.” He noticed that quality of grace that comes over when a person faces adversity with a spirit of courage. Over the next few weeks, pay attention to those who scatter joy and take away the pain of their neighbors. I bet you notice the glow and a grace of God working though them.
Have a nice weekend. W.