An Open Letter to BeautyBeyondBones

BBB 3Dear Caralyn,

I’m not sure what I’m about to write here. There’s just a need to…communicate.

I watched the video of your Sunday talk even though I was obviously there when you spoke. Gratification is the word that springs to mind. There’s gratification that your visit here actually happened. There’s gratification that you connected to the people who were there and on line. It was gratifying to hear you say “Caralyn Collar” in something clearly destined for your BeautyBeyondBones audience. The questions after each talk were gratifying, showing how involved and thoughtful people were about your message.

It was gratifying to watch you communicate with those sisters in turn Saturday evening and see how much that meant to their mother. Especially for the shy one! The email from Atlanta was gratifying; a wink from God to let us know just how far you reached! It’s gratifying to have shared this success with you in doing God’s work.

It’s been gratifying to read the support your readers are giving you on your site after the acute nerves I know you had when you arrived. And here is where my thoughts are starting to focus.

As a former speech teacher, one basic maxim I drilled into the most nervous students was to remind them that their audience wants them to succeed! We can all remember a time watching someone on a stage fumble a line, trip over something, or completely lose it. We all lean forward willing them to recover and finish strong! No one ever wants to see someone fail. Well, maybe there’s that one “special” person one might enjoy watching prat fall…but I digress.

You were so very frightened to share even your face or name at the start of BBB. Then we got a face and a first name. Now we know exactly who you are! You told us in the video from last Sunday even though you thought you might sweat right through your shirt!

So here is the nubbin, the thing you learned this past week in the warm reception you got and the thing that all of us need to learn everywhere in life in whatever recovery we are going through or are terrified to face –

Everyone wants you to succeed! Friends, loved ones…even a group of strangers in church on a Sunday morning and 44,000 largely faceless readers! Everyone who matters to us and even more who we might not even know still want each of us to succeed. They are all leaning forward willing us to recover and finish strong.  They all cheer for us to be heroic and not give up!

You are a hero, and please don’t show that observation the hand. Heroes are not pristine marble statues we worship…not really. Heroes are people who kept going despite the mud, the wounds, the adversity, and even hate. They came out scarred and limping but victorious. They always made one last critical effort, even if it was only asking Jesus to take the wheel just before they might have ended.

Most importantly, heroes never think they are. I think it all describes you pretty well.

So, my friend, thank you for recovering and finishing strong! It was a real pleasure to have you here in Memphis and watch you – shall I say it? – Bloom a little bigger!

If you want to hear about Caralyn’s speaking engagement last weekend and see the video, just visit BeautyBeyondBones.

Caralyn at CTK

3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to BeautyBeyondBones

  1. Holy cow, Jeff! You’ve got me all choked up over here! This was truly one of the nicest things I’ve ever received. Thank you just doesn’t cut it. Wow. I am humbled and just so grateful. I cannot begin to express how wonderful last weekend was! I loved spending time with you and for the opportunity to share my story. Thanks again for being so instrumental in orchestrating that. You’re a great friend! Hugs and love xox

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