Imperfectly beautiful. Those are the words that came to mind.
It was on the same sisters’ weekend as I mentioned before (http://www.aneverydayvoice.com/2013/09/a-blessing-received.html). Chatting as we walked along the seawall, we stopped to admire the beautiful flowers growing doggedly near the sand.
Brilliant white with lavender edges that curled, it was no wonder that it caught our eyes. Yet as I looked closer, I noticed that this particular flower was also marred by holes. It had been partially eaten by the bug that still roosted on it. I had to admire not only its beauty, but also its resilience. It had survived the assault, tenaciously continuing to grow and flourish.
We, too, are imperfectly beautiful. Wounded by the harsh words or actions of others, and sometimes by our own choices, we are all broken people. The effects of sin leave holes in our hearts.
Those things that wound? God walks through them with us (Hebrews 13:5). Even when the wounds are a result of our own foolish choices, His heart is not set to condemn (1 John 1:9). Rather, He extends mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. His Spirit reminds us that, as His children, we are loved…valued…redeemed. And we hear the sweet whisper of His unchanging love.
Some wounds go deep, but the scars that inevitably remain become part of the tapestry of His grace. They serve to remind us of God’s faithfulness in hard things. We are made in God’s image, and in spite of the scars His beauty is still seen, evident in us because He is in us. Because of His grace, we can continue to grow and flourish.
One day sin will be defeated. All will be made right, and all things fully restored to God’s original design. We will no longer struggle with the effects of sin. We will become all that God created us to be. His image will be perfectly reflected in us (1 John 3:2).
But until that day, there is grace…forgiveness…mercy.
Though imperfect, we are still beautiful in His eyes.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:3-5a
- What are the things that have happened in your life that have wounded you most deeply?
- Were they the result of other’s choices, or your own?
- Describe what you learned as you worked through those circumstances.
Father, thank You that nothing I do—or others do to me—can separate me from Your love. When I hurt, You are there. When I hurt others, You are still there. I am marred by sin, but still beautiful in Your eyes. Help me to live in light of that truth.