The world in which we live in is an aggressively external society, where what is most important and esteemed is a matter of appearance and propriety. The value of an object or person is based upon the assessment of the eyes, never being considered what whispers of wisdom the things we gaze upon as imperfect, may be hiding. We look upon a worn and broken historic building and our first thoughts wander to what it needs to be restored to it’s former condition and we forget about the value of the journey that brought that once, beautiful building to a place of disrepair. Do our minds ever first wonder about the wealth of experience and stories hidden within it’s dilapidated walls or the diversity and mystery of the people this building once contained? Does it venture to the person or people who may have originally built it and the pride that must have filled their hearts to see the labor of their hands take on the form of something so beautiful and grandeur? How much treasure and joy do we miss out on in this society of the journey of what what was, to where it is, because we’re too busy gazing intently upon what it currently needs to restore it’s former glory?
Isn’t there still beauty to be found in history and experience? What about the sheer mystery and wonder to the mind, of how an old door may have gotten that large chip taken out of the wood or who may have carved their initials into the side of a beam that holds the ceiling up. What are the stories contained within the imperfection of what was once magnificent and why is it so important to us that what we look upon as valuable, be only appealing to the physical eye? Isn’t there something much deeper to see? Imagine the vast uses and functions of this historic place and the years of memories, heartaches and the many lives that have been affected just because it existed? What a wonderment to be found when our gaze goes much deeper than just pleasing the eyes.
It seem’s that even in this light, we view ourselves and one another. When we look at someone we only seem to look at what they need to make them better or new again, (healing, money, physical or emotional changes, and many other things), but we often don’t look any deeper than what our eyes can immediately see, and we assess them accordingly. We may look at a woman’s face and see her makeup, or lack of it, we may notice her hairstyle or lack of hair, we may first see her weight and what we think she should or shouldn’t do about it or we notice her clothing choices and fashion an opinion of her based solely upon what our society has brainwashed us to believe is important. Do we see the deep line that creases her face as a flaw or a sign of her age, or do we wonder about what she’s been through in her life to form that seemingly, unsightly imperfection? Do we think about her joys, the stories contained in her heart or the suffering and hardships she may have endured? Do we think about what she loves, what she desires or her dreams, or can all we see is her weaknesses (as some may see it) or what she needs to make her look like she once did, without appreciating where she’s been or who she is? Why can’t we see the beauty and the mystery that’s hidden within her imperfections and ask God to open our eyes to the deeper beauty that people possess. It’s not so much about looking more intently at someone’s imperfections but choosing to look deeper into the heart of the person.
Maybe, just maybe, if we can begin to be fascinated and filled with wonder over the little imperfections in one another, that indeed may reveal our age, our history, the faint shadows of our beginning or where we may be now (and no longer grieve over the fact that we’re not brand new anymore), we’ll see how truly lovely and beautiful we are and no longer focus our attentions on what we use to be or what others think we should be, we will see ourselves and others as God see’s, “for a man looks upon the outward appearance, but the Lord looks upon the heart”. Rejoice in your scars, wrinkles and gray hairs and all of those things that this world says are imperfections and not beautiful, because before God, even the tracks of your tears tell an intriquing story and the heartache or joys that caused the tears that created them, heaven has stored in bottles for an appointed time. Go ahead and love yourself right where you are because God really does think you’re beautiful! (Hugs)
Pamela Halstead: Midnight Oil Ministries