Have you ever met women who were just lovely? Women who just seem to be able to encourage and lift up and bless everyone they come across. And even if they are not always the stereotype of beauty as far as society is concerned, they really truly are beautiful. This loveliness, I learned, was the Jesus in them. So much of Him, that it spills out and they can’t help but be beautiful. And so far as God is concerned, this is the only kind of beauty that matters.
‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10
In order to begin the journey towards being shiny and lovely on the outside sometimes our hearts need a bit of a makeover. When our hearts have been repeatedly stomped on, they can become bitter and cynical and hardened. This is where we need to invite Jesus in to do His work. To make it new and soft and squishy like a sponge. In this state, our hearts can absorb enough love to pour out onto others. When others start to notice THAT about you – the Jesus in you – that’s the best compliment you can ever receive.
‘You are not a body. You are a soul – you HAVE a body.’ – C.S Lewis
This imperfect body you’re in? It’s temporary. It isn’t who you are. Not only will your outward appearance be insignificant when this body runs out of batteries, the wrinkles and massive old people freckles will destroy your looks long before that. Your looks, good or bad, are temporary. Your soul and your character are what’s going to last and these are what we need to focus on.
‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’ Mark 5:34
It can be hard to relate to God as a father, especially when your only example of a father might be an absent one, or an unreliable one, or an abusive one. Or even a regular, human one. God is a father without any of those human flaws or weaknesses. He TRULY loves us and wants the very best for us. The bible tells us that He is our refuge – the father you can go to to be safe. He is our comfort. He will never, ever leave or abandon us. We are his children, his beautiful daughters. And when we truly and fully accept that the only beauty that matters is the kind that only HE can give us, it gives an enormous sense of relief. We just have to let Him in