take the time to love and find
The beauty in a nameless face
-Addison Road's It Just Takes One-

 it's been on my heart for awhile now, but i never know exactly how to say it, or how to write it, or even how to think it.    
maybe it's because i know how it feels, maybe because i am a writer, and i like to look at everyone and imagine there is more to them then skin deep.  
or maybe, it's because i've learned. 

once upon a time, i thought tattoos were for bikers, or rebels, or those sinful people who did drugs and lived lives not worthy of a second glance.
only new age-y hippies had dreadlocks, and it was just gross.
those with brightly colored hair were just looking for attention and shouldn't be looked upon. 

but then i found mrs. rachel's blog, Dramatic Elegance, and, something tugged at me.  here was an inspiring lady, so in love with christ, so stunning and with such a beautiful soul. and yet, here was a lady who loved ink and dreads, my soul was conflicted.  how could these things exist in the same heart? how can people have tattoos and still love Christ as much as she seemed to?

something in me began to click, gears began to turn, a change of heart was coming. 

it was helped to come when my family and i left the mennonite church.  we cast off the head covering, and began to wear pants again.  we had a couple of 'friends' that said we were sinning, and refused to speak with us anymore.  they were judging us by our looks, not by our hearts.  they were only able to see what they thought was a sinful style, and couldn't even look inside.

and, i realized, had i been much better?  maybe that man in the grocery store with piercings, and dreads, and tattoos down his neck is a wiccan. maybe he worships trees. maybe he has a sinful life, maybe, maybe maybe.

but maybe he is sweet, kind, gentle, or loving. maybe he has a beautiful soul, maybe, maybe, maybe.  
maybe, just maybe, he dresses like that because he realizes that holiness isn't an outward thing, but an inward commitment of the heart and the way you shine your light. 
maybe he dresses like that because he has learned to never judge people by their hair, or their skin. 

and it nearly brought tears to my eyes as i realized how i could have passed by some of the world's most beautiful with a scornful toss of my head, how i could have just classified them as rebellious teens, or creeps, or devil worshipers.  
 and i changed.

now, when i pass someone in the store who looks different, who has a nose ring, or skin so inked they are practically a walking picture book, or dreadlocks, or unnaturally colored hair, i smile at them. 
(granted, in my little southern town, we don't get many of such characters. but occasionally, you will spot someone, and you can almost feel everyone else staring at them).
but i smile at them, as i'm too shy to say, "hey, i like your hair" or "nice tattoos" or anything.  i'm not a very brave sort, but i can smile.
and i hope a smile says what i need it to say. 

you never know a person. priests can be sinners, and saints can look like heathens. i've learned that now.  the devil hides in all forms, but so does goodness. 

and, you might ask, has ashley become a tattoo lover? is she going to pop up with sky blue hair someday? is she going to surprise us with a tongue peircing?
no. XD i can assure you, the likelihood of little ol me getting a strange piercing or a tattoo is very very slim. but i would like to color my hair someday, pink, preferably. i like pink hair quite a lot.   

i don't know how to end this aside from, don't judge. people aren't skin deep, just as you aren't skin deep.  and don't frown at someone because the demons they fight are different then yours. 
and thats all i have to say. :)

cheerio, me ol' cream puffs,


  1. *slow claps*

    I also have taken a painfully long time to understand this myself. It hurt to learn it by being judged myself by Christian friends who were extremely conservative; I was being judged for liking Princess Leia and Black Widow because those characters weren't quiet and submissive women, so how could I possibly like them? It really hurt to be judged because I simply liked different things then they did or saw something in a different light. But those experiences also opened my eyes in how I was looking at others myself.

    Excellent post, I really related to it!


  2. Words cannot express how much I love this post. This concept has always been in my mind and I've always wondered why no one saw people how I did. Because it didnt matter if they had peircings or tatoos (I've actually always loved both. and there is nothing wrong with the color black:) ) they were made by God and loved by God just as much as anyone. Jesus hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes when He was on earth.
    I'm glad you took the time to write this. I love it.

  3. oh, ASHLEY :D i just found this post, somehow, through the winding clickings of my blog statistics page, and I cannot stop smiling. how you have blessed me. to know that it was my words that causes this gentle turning, turning in your heart...oh, I cannot put into words just how wonderfully you have touched me.

    <3 love and blessings to you, dearheart.


Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
- Blaise Pascal