Living in the South has its advantages. One advantage is the opportunity to grow and eat Satsumas. What is a Satsuma you ask? It is one of the best citrus fruits made by God. It is about the size of a tangerine and peels like one too but with one omission: there are no seeds. Not only that the flesh is very juicy and sweet; the smaller the Satsuma the sweeter the fruit. People plant Satsuma trees everywhere like those in the north planting apple trees. Most everyone has an abundance of them and try to give them away.
My family loves Satsumas and we take any and every fruit anyone is giving away because they are so good and we can only eat them during November and December. If you wait too long, you miss the season. No orange, tangerine or “cuties” come close to the taste and juiciness. I cannot say enough about how wonderful they are.
This year my normal supplier, an older, retired farmer was having troubles with his Satusumas. A dark blight appeared on the skin which made the fruit fairly ugly looking and he could not sell them at the market as he usually did each year. He had to take a loss. There were thousands of satsumas just sitting on trees ready to be picked. It was sad.
I came along with my money to buy as many as I could and I was surprised by the farmer’s action. He handed me the cutters and told me I could have as many as I wanted and no charge. I tried to pay him but he wouldn’t accept it. I was sad as I thought about this year’s crop ruined and no chance for the farmer to take any fruit to market even though the fruit inside was as sweet as ever but just because the outside skin was an ugly dark color no one would eat them.
The obvious spiritual analogy popped into my head. These satsumas are like people: we all come in different shapes and sizes. Some skins are dark, some are light; the outsides of some are not as beautiful as the outsides to others. But we are all beautiful inside. We are all children of a merciful, righteous God and we are important to him.
Then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Gordon B. Hinkley said in a conference in April 1995: “Some of you may feel that you are not as attractive and beautiful and glamorous s you would like to be. Rise above any such feelings, cultivate the light you have within you, and it will shine through as a radiant expression that will be seen by others.”
There are many who agree with him:
Audrey Hepburn says: “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty of a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.”
Swiss born psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross says: “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy from LDS Church leadership says: “A young woman whose countenance is aglow with both happiness and virtue radiates inner beauty.” (New Era, November 2008)
Author Mandy Hale says: “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.”
LDS Church author Shannon L Alder says: “The wise do not buy into other people’s perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person’s public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul’s worth.”
Our Christmas season this past year was filled with those dark skinned satsumas as they were all so delicious and we ate to our hearts content but the message that stuck in my head was how beautiful we all are on the inside and especially important to a kind Heavenly Father.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.