Dear Daughter, What You Really Need to Know About Beauty

Dear Daughter,

Maybe you’ve heard the name Joshua Bell. If not, let me introduce you. Joshua Bell is a Grammy award winning violinist. The man can play some violin.

Yet one of the things he’s most famous for is a stunt he pulled in 2007.

On a cold January morning, Joshua Bell entered the Washington metro station in a baseball cap. Disguised as a street performer, the award winning violinist opened his case and began playing his heart out.

Nearly 1,100 people passed by him that morning. And only 27 stopped to listen to some of the most elegant music ever written…or played.

For 45 minutes, a Master violinist played masterpieces of beauty. The question on the table was, Would anyone recognize the elegance? Would anyone stop for the beauty?

Joshua Bell said, “It was a strange feeling, that people were actually, ah . . . ignoring me.”

{This is a man accustomed to a spellbound, enraptured audience!}

He went on to say, “When you play for ticket-holders, you are already validated. I have no sense that I need to be accepted. I’m already accepted. Here (in the metro), there was this thought: What if they don’t like me? What if they resent my presence . . .”

Daughter, I’ll let you do a little snooping to find out what came about on that infamous January morning; just know that Mr. Bell left the metro station that morning with a mere $32 in his pocket. Just two days before, he’d played to a sold out theater in Boston where seats averaged $100.

The Joshua Bell stunt showed the world one thing: it is possible for a Master to be ignored, overlooked, and undervalued.

But wait.

That sounds familiar.

That sounds like The Master Himself, Jesus.

If it happened to Jesus… If it happened to Joshua Bell… I can tell you with certainty it’ll happen to you. In some way, shape, or form, you will be ignored, overlooked, or undervalued.

That’s why you must never allow the response of others to determine your significance, beauty, or worth.

When you find yourself in the metro of life, playing your heart out to a crowd that doesn’t care or appreciate what you have to offer, remember your value comes from a source other than the opinions of others.

You can spend your entire life trying to win the approval of the ticket holders…

Or you can play your music wherever God places you and know you are beautiful… regardless of the response.

What you Need to Know About Beauty

You need to decide now, daughter, which one it’s going to be. Because sure, there may be times when you are on stage in front of the crowd. But most of life is lived in the metro station.

You’ve got to know inside and out that you are a masterpiece. God’s workmanship. He has created you to exquisitely play to the glory of the King. He has crafted your life, painstakingly trained you, and is bringing glory to Himself on the instrument of your life.

You, my girl, are already validated. You are already approved and full of beauty.

Anytime you doubt it, just remember Joshua Bell. And then play, my girl. Play.

Be it in a heels or a baseball cap, wearing makeup or a burp cloth, or at age 12 or 85.

Just Play. Exquisite and beautiful.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10


arabah headshot

Related Reading: The original story on The Washington Post

By Arabah Joy: Arabah is wife to Jackson, adoptive and biological mom to 4 little ones, and missionary to East Asia. Her adventures span far and wide, from eating pig snouts to giving birth in three different Asian countries. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed by grace. She has written several books including the 40 day devotional, Trust Without Borders. You can find out more and connect with her at

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  1. Betsy de Cruz says:

    What a beautiful post, Arabah Joy. Such an important message for our daughters, AND for us. Sharing this on twitter and facebook later because part of my passion is for women to know this! Thanks.

    • Arabah says:

      Thank you for your kind words Betsy! I know I need to hear this message, lol! I want my girls to walk in God confidence, regardless of life’s response to them. Only then can they really live a life of true worship. I appreciate your comment 🙂

  2. Jen says:

    Arabah, this brought tears to my eyes, not only when thinking about my own little girl, but even when thinking about myself! How I wish I would have learned that lesson earlier on in life. You have a gift for bringing out deep meaning in stories, friend.
    Jen 🙂

  3. Leah Adams says:

    I wish I had truly ‘gotten’ this when I was in my teens. I knew it, but I didn’t ‘get’ it. Consequently I did things I should not have. To know deep in the marrow of our bones that we are deeply loved and completely accepted by Jesus is life-changing. Lovely post, my friend.

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