My heart yet turns to water when I see a loved one’s pain.
For often in their crisis my carnal help’s in vain.
I can’t heal a heart that’s shattered, can’t render good for ill.
I feel their disappointments, their stress and pain ‘tis true.
But my humble words and efforts ebb like waves upon the shore
The only intervention is the Love that’s evermore.
I turn unto His presence and lay them in His hands
Entreating His assistance, knowing He understands.
My burden then is lifted. I trust Him to perform
Those things that I am lacking in perfect, perfect, form.
I realised in early adolescence I was not to be one of those beautiful types with delicate bones, perfect features and bushels of shining curls. While I looked reasonably OK, my too round face and slightly saggy chin ruled out any such notions.
My self-perception, regarding looks, later became very confused. I was told often I was beautiful, but photos always brought me back to reality. Mirrors were the most confusing of all, a casual glance might depict me as surprisingly beautiful or jarringly ugly. It’s only in my latter years I’ve come to understand. You see it’s Jesus coming through, lighting up my plain face that transforms it – beauty of a different kind.
If I was naturally beautiful it wouldn’t be so noticeable. What is so nice about “my realisation” is it means anyone can be beautiful regardless of their actual physical appearance. How many times have you seen a plain (even ugly) person transform into beauty when they fall in love? I’ve seen it often, love itself, being a part of God, transforms. Not only that but this kind of beauty doesn’t fade, has no need of creams and face lifts (in fact these things tend to reduce it). If anything, it grows more apparent with age. So, if like me you don’t rate high on the physical looks scale, remember God’s love makes us all beautiful!
I chose this recent photo from my daughter’s 40th birthday party as somewhat of an example. My kids got so many compliments of how young and beautiful their mother was, some even commented directly. It all depends on how you look at the photo you see, the round face and “turtle effect” saggy chin are there, but I think the photo also caught something else. The couple I was talking to were wonderful people who I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with (as were many at the event). Forgetting my less than perfect self among such a glittering assortment of good looks I was fully engaged in conversation with them.
Noticing the same effect in others, when happily relaxed with friends, or simply in love, I’ve termed a phrase, “their light’s come on”. Even more wonderful we can turn on other’s lights by sharing love, especially God’s love. Though I’d have liked to be beautiful I’m thankful God made me the way I am so I could understand this. There are no “ugly” or “plain” people in God’s eyes, because He loves us all. He even chose that kind of body for Himself – “there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isiah 53:2).
Funny though it may be, the picture gives a pretty acurate illustration of spring in England – this year being a pretty extreme case!
While chuckling, I thought life can be like that too. After a long “winter” the sun finally appears only to be eclisped a few days later by a torrential downpour of problems and sorrows. Slowly it picks up again, the clouds of doubt disperse as it grows steadily warmer. Then again the cold hits etc.
My son, with the manifest wisdom of a thirteen year old, once told me when I felt overloaded with problems. “It’s like the tide, the waves come in and then withdraw but each time they reach a little further and after a while though you don’t see it so much the tide is in.”
Spring here is like that too, each time it gets cold again it’s a little warmer than last time, each time the sun shines it lasts longer. Life is like that too. Seldom do we advance steadily toward our dreams. It’s more often two steps forward and one back. It’s important to bare this in mind and keep our minds on the progress or we can get discouraged by frequent set backs and throw in the towel just before it’s time to launch into the depths and swim.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”—J.R.R. Tolkien.