Friday, February 11, 2011

The Face of Beauty: True Beauty Conversations

On Fridays my friend Melissa and I are exploring True Beauty through a series of letters. Join us as we explore Beauty in our lives. We look forward to hearing from you.
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Dearest Julia,

As I sit down to write this, I can see two little girls happily playing. They're simply captivating as they chatter together, pull pans from their cupboard, and push around their toys. Their delicate features light up with laughter. Their capable hands do the work of play.

I sigh happy.

These girls,
my daughters,
are breathtakingly beautiful.

But they're not beautiful because their daddy and I think so. And they're not beautiful because everyone who sees them squeals delight to be the object of their attention.

No, my daughters (and your daughters too!) are beautiful because...

the very Image of God lies within their little bodies.

His Image shines forth in their childish glee.



His Image is apparent in the perfectly coordinated movements of their limbs as they climb, once again, into my fireplace.




His Image reverberates in the air as they hum and sing the little songs He puts in their hearts.






The Image of God is stamped on their very souls.

God created man in His own Image in the image of God He created Him, male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:27
Isn't God Beauty defined?

Frankly, that is a hard thought to wrap my head around. Our God takes no daily visible form. He roamed the earth for 3 decades as a Man, but we have no photographs, nor even papyrus and ink renderings. Visibly, our God remains obscure.
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I spend a lot of time creating. I sew, I write, and I capture images and edit them into what my heart saw when I clicked the shutter. I create what is beautiful to me. I define beauty with my limited creative abilities as best as I can.

But God, so invisible to our eyes, created everything and everything He created is Beautiful.

The skyline at sunset.
SunsetWeb


The protozoa swimming in a petrie dish.
Gasterotrich


Birds pecking out a quiet rhythm.
Red Bellied Woodpecker


Galaxies far, far away: ones shaped like crosses and ones with crosses right in the center.
Polar-Ring Galaxy NGC 4650A



Whirlpool Galaxy M51



X Structure


Four little girls with wondrous excitement in their eyes.

AllFourGirls


All of it is Beautiful beyond description. Just like my own minuscule creations show beauty through my eyes, every created thing is a reflection of the most beautiful thing of all: the living God.

And that same God, Julia, He created you. He created me.

And, by some act of grace,

wild breathless grace,

God placed His image in you and me. A tiny fragment of His reflected Beauty lies in us.

Julia, His Beauty resides in you.

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Therefore, when our husbands say "You are beautiful," and we shrug off this truth with disbelief or, worse, blatantly argue with them, are we not blaspheming the very Beauty of God? Slandering that small part of His Image imparted, so graciously, to us?

May it never be!!!

May we humbly bow to repent.

May we learn, instead, to thank God for the beauty of His image thriving within us.

May we thank God that He has given our husbands the eyes to wholly perceive our Beauty within.

And may we daily ask, with the Psalmist:


One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall see:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.

Psalm 27:4
 Lord, help us to behold your Beauty--even as it resides in us.

4 comments:

JulzVP said...

It is so easy for me to look at myself with the world's ideas of beauty and get discouraged. I am not a size 2. My hair is not waist-long and naturally curly. There are days when my face looks like it has the skin of a 14-y/o boy.
Then there are the days when I take what the bible says, and I interpret it legalistically. I am not always patient and loving. I do not always have a sweet composure or a loving temperment.
But despite it all, God calls me beautiful. He calls me His beloved child. And what is more beautiful than that?

Thanks for this reminder.

Christine Ashley said...

thank you BOTH for this reminder!

Twinside Out said...

Ohhhhh. I so needed to read this today! What an amazing God we serve. He knows the depths of our hearts, and all the ugliness that resides there sometimes, and He trades with us. He gives us the true beauty of His Spirit and takes our putrid sin.

He placed a part of His own image in me when He created me...what would my life look like if I woke up every morning and remembered this?!? That I am a daughter of the Most High King? That I am a dearly loved work of art?

GREAT stuff to think about today. Thank you!

Christine Ashley said...

thank you BOTH for this reminder!