Beholding beauty

In the culture in which we live, it’s easy to feel rather unattractive at times.

Especially if you have nothing to cover your blemishes.

I honestly normally don’t spend a ton of time on my appearance, because I really don’t care that much, but I will admit that there was one day last week that I just didn’t have much of a desire to show my face in public. I’m not positive what happened–I might have accidentally scratched myself in my sleep or come into contact with branches while I was running (it’s happened before)–but somehow I got a few scratches on my face. I don’t own any makeup, and the scratches were very noticeable, so I knew the only way they wouldn’t be seen was for me to crawl back into bed and hide beneath the covers for the rest of the day. That wasn’t even an option, so I left for work with a sour attitude, then I got even more frustrated with myself for caring so much about what my face looked like. I mean, who was I trying to impress?

Sometimes I wish mirrors didn’t exist.

I actually forgot about my face until every single time I went into the restroom and saw my imperfect reflection again. It also didn’t help when someone asked me, “What the heck happened to your face?” I was frustrated, so I just said, “Bar fight” and walked away. Other than that one incident, no one seemed to care about the marks on my face–I didn’t even notice anyone blatantly staring at them yet trying to be subtle like people often do when they are trying not to look at a huge zit on someone’s face but can’t seem to take their eyes off of it.

Later that day after work, I decided to go rollerblading, and I always listen to music while cruising on my wheels. A song I love by Nichole Nordeman came up on my playlist, and I think I needed to hear those lyrics that particular day. It starts off talking about how we often are so unsatisfied with what we see in the mirror, especially when we start comparing ourselves to others around us. Then the chorus begins:

Has anybody told you you’re beautiful? You might agree if you could see what I see. ‘Cuz everything about you is incredible. You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me.

The truth is, no matter what we look like–or what we think we look like–we are still beautiful to the One who created us.

A couple of months ago, I went to a painting class with my friend Amanda. It was one of those classes where an instructor tries to walk everyone through in somewhat of a step-by-step fashion of creating a “masterpiece” of your own that you are trying to get to look like an already existing piece by an artist who actually had talent. By the end of the class, however, I was convinced my painting was beautiful. I didn’t care that it didn’t look exactly like the original work, and I certainly didn’t care that it looked nothing like anyone else’s around me. To me, it was perfect. I had created it, and it was special to me.

Image

And that’s how the Father sees us.

I wasn’t created to be a supermodel or have my face plastered across billboards, and that is absolutely fine with me. Rather than being upset about a few scratches on my face, I need to make sure there aren’t any scratches on my heart–inner beauty is more appealing than outer beauty, anyway. The song “Beautiful for Me” continues on with some fitting lyrics:

If it’s true beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, I want my life and what’s inside to give Him something to behold. I want a heart that’s captivating. I want to hear my Father saying…

It goes back to the chorus after that, and as I was rollerblading I realized that it’s the heart that really matters. Regardless of what my appearance looks like, I want my heart to be captivating. There are days when my hair is frizzy; there are times when my clothes don’t match (that’s actually almost all of the time, but anything matches if you wear it with confidence); there are moments when I’m reminded that teenagers aren’t the only ones who get blemishes on their faces; there are days when every outfit I put on looks stupid to me; there was a time when I tried to remove my freckles; there are instances when I wish I weren’t so pale; there are just some days when I want to look different.

But I don’t need to.

I went somewhere with my sister this weekend, and she texted me beforehand trying to warn me that she looked horrible. She claimed that her hair was a disaster and that she really shouldn’t be seen in public. If you’ve never seen my sister, let me just tell you that she is beyond gorgeous. She is definitely the most beautiful person I know, both inside and out–she takes after my mom in that regard. It was a day that my sister wanted to look different.

But she didn’t need to.

Let’s be honest, one day you’re probably going to reach an age where your good looks escape you. Then what’s left? I don’t think there’s an age you can reach where you lose that captivating heart.

God’s love for us is unchanging–it doesn’t matter if we are having bad hair days or feel like we’re just not pretty enough. You’re more than pretty. You’re beautiful.

I don’t care what anyone says–my painting is a masterpiece.

And so are you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s