Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Look. Give. Laud. Outlove

In July, I posted a few thoughts (you can find those thoughts here) that were sparked by my friend and fellow blogger who was inspired by one of our favorite singer/songwriters: 

. . . to look for the light in people (and things!), to give them the benefit of the doubt, to laud their beauty, to outlove unloveliness. ~Andrew Peterson

I condensed these thoughts into four words that have become my personal mantra:  Look.  Give.  Laud.  Outlove.  These four words and what they mean were not just a passing thought; they have changed the way I handle situations: increased my compassion, steadied my reactions, and given me a new way to understand people around me.

Unfortunately, I am not perfect and I fall very, very short most of the time.  I fall short especially when I know I need to Outlove unloveliness.  Sometimes it seems there's too much unloveliness.  In those situations, I have learned that practice makes perfect and there are times when my unloveliness needs to be Outloved, too.

This is my New Year's resolution of sorts.  Not the type of resolution where I charge forward with an unreachable goal and fail by February, but one where I carefully consider and implement Looking, Giving, Lauding, and Outloving into my daily life. 

An excerpt from the original post:
To look for the light in people. That means ALL people.

To give the the benefit of the doubt. Gah! That's difficult, but when I receive the benefit of the doubt from others, it's magnificent!

To laud their beauty. I looked up the word laud. It is not just another word for praise but the definition also says to sing praise. To laud someone's beauty is to really appreciate it and make it known to them on a deeper tell them they are worthy. My Grandpa L-F does this. Everytime I see him, he walks toward me, undistracted and takes my face into his hands. He looks, really looks at my face, into my eyes and tells me that I'm beautiful or sweet or he just smiles and says, "I love you." And I believe it. There's no distraction in this exchange, no agenda, just a grandfather telling his granddaughter that she's beautiful and worthy from the inside out. What if we treated more people like this?

To outlove unloveliness. This is the part of the statement that struck me the most. What a lovely thing to outlove unloveliness, there sure is a lot of unloveliness in this world.

Look. Give. Laud. Outlove


  1. There are times at work when I am tempted to be completely frustrated or disgusted by the person I am dealing with. Sometimes I give way to my feelings and the interaction goes less than perfectly. But other times I think to pray in that moment for peace to be given to the person's mind and for me to be able to see them as Christ does. In those times somehow the mood of the entire contact changes and there is always a peaceful resolution to whatever problem has arisen. I find myself walking away amazed at God's perfect understanding and grateful that He would give me the insight to love one of His children, even if just for a moment, the way He does. If only I could remember to start all interactions that way....of course I suppose at that point my journey here would be just about over. :)