Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beauty Through HIS Eyes

Greetings!  In honor of Father's Day, I asked Aimee Libby to write about the "beauty of parenting a child with a disability."  I think you will be blessed by what she has to share!


Beauty Through HIS Eyes
By Special Guest Blogger, Aimee Libby

We’ve all heard the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, but sadly our society tends to judge beauty based on initial outward appearance. Let’s be honest, we’ve probably all seen a pretty lady who is very physically fit stroll past us out in public, thinking to ourselves, “Sheesh, now THAT is a beautiful woman”.  The media certainly doesn’t hold back when trying to convince us what beauty should look like…even if their images have been digitally enhanced and could never humanly be achieved. It’s obvious what the world wants us to believe true beauty is. Just page through a popular magazine or watch a couple TV commercials.

It wasn’t until I had a child with special needs that I discovered what true beauty is. Yes, in the world’s eyes our daughter Peyton appears broken and lacking in the important areas. Academically she’s far behind her peers. Physically she can be quite clumsy at times. Socially she often interjects at times that may not seem acceptable or appropriate.  I’ll be the first to admit, she’s a quirky kid. She loves cars – Hot Wheels and “movie cars” as she calls them. What type of normal 8-year-old girl loves cars, to the point where she has collected HUNDREDS of them? Peyton also loves spending time with elderly people, asking all types of questions about them and their lives, and wanting to help them in any way she can – even if that just means singing some songs for them to put a smile on their face.  And if you put Peyton in a room full of 99 normal people and 1 not-normal person, she would immediately be drawn to that 1 person. She wouldn’t just be drawn to them, she’d go running to them…and if you watched how she interacted and responded to them, you’d think they’d known each other their whole lives. To her, they’d be the most beautiful person of all. 

You see, Peyton will probably never be an academic scholar or a world-class athlete – but she’s something far more impressive than either of those. She was created with a beautiful spirit that loves and embraces everyone she comes in contact with, regardless of his or her ability or disability. She sees the good in everyone she meets, to the point where she invites anyone and everyone over for dinner the first time she meets them…even strangers at the grocery store or post office. Peyton also has the most empathetic heart of anyone I’ve ever met. We joke that Peyton has radar that can detect anyone with a cane or walker, using crutches, wearing braces, or in a wheelchair because it never fails – every time we go somewhere she spots a person who she immediately becomes concerned about. We like to call her the “Question Queen” – right away, she starts with her questions. Did they break their leg? Did they have to have surgery? Are they sad? Do they need a hug? Can we help them? Do they want to come over for dinner or a play date? These are the questions we hear over and over again after Peyton sees someone in public like this. And at bedtime that person will be on the top of her list to pray for, even if we don’t know their name or circumstances. God knows, and that’s good enough for Peyton.

The other day I came across a verse that reminded me of the way Peyton views others, especially those with disabilities:

“For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7b

She looks past any outward or physical “flaws” and straight in to their souls to see the beauty that God created inside them. To her, each person she runs in to is an instant friend that she cares about, even if they only meet once – she remembers every detail about that person and the time she spent with them. This quality is not something that can be learned or bought; instead, Peyton’s gift to see others as Christ sees them {perfect, created in His image and worthy of being treated as a best friend} is one of the many things she’s been blessed with. I know we’re not supposed to be jealous of others, but I can honestly say that I’m jealous of the priceless gift Peyton has been given. She truly is beautiful from the inside out. May we all strive to be more like this sweet girl, not passing instant judgment on others, but rather giving them the same love and respect that Christ gives to us so that we can see the true beauty that God sees.

Aimee has a blog called “Welcome To Libbyland” where she writes about everyday life with the Libby family, feel free to stop by and visit…and please ignore the fact she’s not always great at updating the blog – lots of stuff happening in Libbyland, now to find the time to blog about it all! :)

1 comment:

  1. Aimee, thanks for sharing Peyton with us. She sounds like a gem! Her beauty is so evident in your words. Blessings to your family!