Monday, September 26, 2011

Await

Hello Beautiful

I was listening to a great sermon this Sunday at church delivered by a short, hilarious, Ukrainian pastor.  He read from a passage, Acts 3:2, which makes reference to the “Beautiful Gate”.  This was the name given to a gate of the temple in Jerusalem.  In this particular story a lame man was sitting outside of the gate asking for money when Peter and John passed by and healed him.  Naturally, like the good church going Christian that I am, as soon as I heard the name “Beautiful Gate” I pretty much tuned out and began thinking about you.

Why was this gate called “Beautiful”?  What makes it beautiful?  This story is the only known reference to a gate by this name.  The Greek word for beautiful used here is horaios; coming from the root hora, meaning an hour or time.  Horaios, or beautiful, therefore means belonging to the right hour.

So often we envisage beauty in terms of physical manifestations.  We rarely think of it in terms of the ephemeral, other than in platitudes of  beauty fading.  Yet we cannot deny the beauty of exquisite timing.  Your husband extemporaneously sending you flowers on the same day your boss drops a monotonous project on your desk.  A friend fortuitously calling the moment you reach for the phone to call them.  You serendipitously taking an earlier bus just as a seat opens next to the man of your dreams.

Proper timing is an essential part of a subjects beauty.  The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.  Meeting the man of your dreams when your hair is trifling may not yield desired effects.  A friend calling right after you learned of their betrayal will not be a pleasant conversation.  Receiving flowers when your allergies are in action… well that might still be nice. 

Timing was everything to the beggar that was healed by two men passing by.  I like to think this is why the gate is called Beautiful. Proper appointment of life’s special moments are essential to their beauty.  Flowers that blossom prematurely do not last.  Likewise no one goes to the beach at noon to watch the sunset.  In relationship, career, economic and definitely fashion decisions, wait for the right timing in your life.  And pounce on them when it is the correct hour.  Through your timing you are beautiful.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Appreciation

Hello Beautiful

I find the car to be an optimal environment to sample new music. The tightly enclosed space allows for optimal reverberation while the upholstery reduces any harsh overtones. Drowning alone in this sonic space I can focus on the marriage of lyric to melody while reflecting my own life into the sonance. It was in this environment that I first noticed Beyoncé’s “Dance for You” from her album 4. Co-written by Beyoncé, the song describes her appreciation for her man; husband and soon to be father Jay-Z. And of course in true R&B style the song describe how she will show her appreciation.

My absolute favorite line in this track is:

“And I wanna say thank you in case I don’t thank you enough”

I feel like this song proposes a solution to one of the great problems in relationships, especially marriages. We have been drilled with the differences in the genders, the need for communication, and the importance of intimacy since our first relationship with the opposite sex. Men are challenged to be gentlemen and women are taught to expect nothing less. All of this is true.

Very true.

However, we have filled ourselves with so much entitlement that we forget to show appreciation. When was the last time you thanked your man for opening the door? When he came home did you give him a kiss because he worked hard all day to provide for the family? Have you recently made sexual advances on your husband to let him know you love him? (Yes, mom I did just write that) (You are welcome dad).

–Speaking of appreciation, much love to my number one fans, my parents; happily married over 30 years—

The magic does not have to vacate our relationships. Relationships take effort. Life takes effort. Journeying through life with a boyfriend, fiancé, or husband requires exertion on all fronts. Dates do not plan themselves. Cars do not change their own oil. Grass does not stay the same length. Bills do not come pre-paid. If you are blessed enough to have someone in your life let them know what they mean to you. Speak life into your relationship. Profess what you think of him. Maybe pop it back Beyoncé style. And trust me, your man thinks you are beautiful.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Send to Voicemail

Hello Beautiful

I had a lovely dinner in Williamsburg with a friend from college. She is a delightful, energetic, charismatic young lady with a contagious personality. We discussed our ventures since we last met. As we conversed, the topic of being a good friend came up. She is not a person that takes friendship lightly. She commits to them no matter what they are struggling with. But the question revolved around how to be a friend to the people in your life that drain you?

Being a true friend is one of the greatest titles one can bear. It is an honor to walk life alongside another person through trials and highlights. Friends illuminate the dark times and bring vivaciousness to the celebration.

Yet sometimes you make friends that seem to only pull life from you. You see them on the caller ID and roll your eyes. You take their call because you want to be a good friend but three hours later you have talked in circles, pulled your hair out, and feel like a horrible friend because you know nothing was accomplished. After a few of these exhausting discourses you start to question your ability to be a friend, your stress level is through the roof, and your strength begins to waiver.

Being a good friend also means knowing when you have the strength and heart to be that friend. The days that you are without these you will not be successful. You will not be the friend they need, they will bring you unnecessary stress, and you will end up in a lose-lose scenario.

When you find yourself in this situation send the call to voicemail. I know at first it seems impossibly difficult but you will become a better friend through it. You can listen to the message to discover if it is a real emergency and call them back. You can take time to prepare for their needs. Or you will realize that they will be fine on their own.

Filter the friends that weigh you down. Do not cut them out completely because you are needed in their life. And you need them. But be sure you are being the most effective friend. Knowing when and how to be a friend is essential to maintaining your strength and value as a friend. Through your friendships you are beautiful.