Wednesday, August 3, 2016


She came in to show me how beautiful her paper dolls were.  She likes beautiful things:  flowers, rainbows, flowing dresses.  The doll was two inches high, drawn on white paper, decorated with colored pencils.  Beauty shone in the eyes of the beholder. I sat next to Anna as she held her treasure.
To most, Anna is a cutie.  Her blue eyes shine, and her hair curls just right.  Still much of today, Anna was not beautiful.  Though Jesus lives in her, Anna, as many six year old girls do,  let her vision become skewed.  She yelled a lot, drew much negative attention, and bossed others around mercilessly.  Beauty was only skin deep.
We talked for awhile about what makes someone beautiful.  She could give the obvious answers:  pretty hair and nice clothes.   But what if a girl had messed up hair and her clothes were torn and dirty?  Was she beautiful?  Anna knew what she was supposed to say, but I could see in her face that she struggled with the answer.
Anna is not the only one who struggles.  I spend time doing hair and makeup.  My clothes are clean.  I give away what does not fit me right and throw away what is ruined.  That does not make me beautiful.  (Mind you, at my age, makeup helps.). Still, my words spoken in anger, my face frozen in a scowl, my sarcasm given in retaliation mar deeply any hint of beauty.
Think of it this way.
My littles walk into the house after playing and see a beautifully decorated cake (you will have to use a great deal of imagination if you know me at all).  The icing was perfect.  Rosettes adorned the edges.  Gold dust glistened making it look like a jewel.  The colors were intense, vibrant.  The cake would catch anyone's attention.  It was beautiful:  a Cake Wars contender.
Then they got closer.  It didn't smell quite right.
Then they took a bite.  Inside was sour and moldy.  They could see egg shells and worms.  It had not even been mixed all the way.
Beauty was only on the surface.  Once they took a closer look, they were appalled and walked away from what was supposed to be a sweet treat.  (Please know I have not presented this to my kids in reality.  Work with me here.)
The story made the point for my little ones.  Outward beauty quickly dissipates when the inside is exposed.  All the extras we add are just that:  extras.  Unless we let God do his job of creating a new thing on the inside, what others see on the outside means nothing.  
Beauty is a good thing.  God thinks we are beautiful.  He makes all things beautiful in His time.  We falsely think that we can force that beauty on something filthy.  I am so thankful that God has changed my horribly sinful heart and has given me a new life along with a promise to never stop working on me.
Please, Lord, may my girls never settle for a showy, sweet icing that covers an ugly heart.  May they let your beauty shine all over them that their face glows simply because of you.

No comments: