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English: Drawn with a flashlight in a 15 secon...

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Fellow Residents of Cyberspace,

I assume you are all familiar with the idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” While this phrase has a metaphorical meaning, personally I see it as a literal reminder. I confess I am a repeat offender. I have passed over countless books in which the artistic rendering of the cover failed to stir my emotions, only to later, after a friend’s less than gentle prodding, find that I had in fact missed out on a work of beauty.

As an artist, I know full well that art and beauty are subjective. There is absolute truth in the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Art has the ability to penetrate the soul and set emotions to blaze. Likewise, the written word is equally powerful. If I never make it past the cover, I will fail to discover the magic and wonder within.

While my prejudices strictly pertain to books, I fear that is not the case with society today. We are living in a superficial world that constantly reminds us that it’s what’s on the outside that counts. From the latest trends in fashion, to the surge in invasive cosmetic surgeries, we are bombarded with new ways to improve our appearance. We are told to strive for ageless youth and plastic cookie-cutter beauty. Wrinkles and gray hair at one time betrayed honor and wisdom. Today countless products are available to eradicate the appearance of fine lines and hair dye has become an essential. Our culture celebrates a depthless, two-dimensional, purely external mindset.

As someone who has never felt completely comfortable in my own skin, I’m the last to pass judgement on someone’s appearance. I have always surrounded myself with an eclectic array of friends. I’ve found that love comes in all shapes and sizes. It is has been my experience that the more surprising the “package,” the greater the love.

In no-one has this held more truth, than in my friend Peter*. Peter has an incredibly intimidating appearance. Between his mohawk, tattoo sleeves, ear gauges, and facial piercings, his external presence often evokes alarm in others. I liked him immediately. Something in his eyes spoke of hidden kindness and our friendship grew.

There came a point in our relationship when I faced a certain trial and was suffering under the weight of my pain. Who was the very first person to offer me hope and comfort? Peter. Encouragement came from several places in my circle of friends, but none matched his depth and sincerity. He was my angel that day. While time, distance, and the twists and turns of life have placed strains upon our friendship, he will forever hold a special place in my heart. I can only pray that one day I will be able to return the favor.

Let us not get so caught up in the superficial that we fail to recognize love’s power at work.

Next week I’ll talk to you about my love of all things fantasy and why I chose that genre to write my first novel.

Until Next Week,

May You Live Each Moment As If It’s Your Last,


*Name changed to protect privacy.

Weekly Reflections: (Disclaimer: The great depths of my sorrow can only be justly compared to the impressive heights of my joy. If you stay tuned in long enough you’ll begin to see the silver ray of hope in even the darkest of my reflections.)

My Angel Hides his Wings

My angel sometimes hides his wings,

I always see them when he sings.

Some fail to look beyond the skin,

Some only see a life of sin.

But ask his friend – I truly know,

To do what’s right, to death he’d go.

My angel often bears disguise,

The truth remains behind his eyes.

Concealed from others’ point of view,

I’ve seen his halo glowing true.

A heart as just as any knight,

Without the armor shining bright.

He doesn’t need to wield a sword,

His strength will show with every chord.

When dark and bitter night consumes,

The angry sting of pain does loom.

This lonely hour reveals his might,

For truth and creed he stands to fight.

When all that’s left to do is cry,

Within his arms I dare to lie.

My angel sometimes hides his wings,

I always see them when he sings.

Verse Of The Week:

In humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

What I’m Reading:

Brisingr – Book Three In the Inheritance Cycle – By Christopher Paolini