Originally written October 21, 2012.
What makes a person beautiful?
The face of the woman I see in the mirror is not vibrant with the youthful radiance it once held. The face in mirror has warn and appears tired… drained. But the mirror is not the place where beauty dwells in its purest form. So I look deeper beyond the mirror, straining to see the life behind the face. I do not dare gaze long. The life I see is not one of radiant beauty. The innocence of youthful ambition has long been scattered among the ruins of painful reality. The pillars of hope that once upheld dreams of glorious and romantic adventure are now reduced to desolate piles of rubble. The quest for beauty here seems hopeless and my heart sinks at the sight of all the brokenness. In humbled resignation I lay down among the ruins of what once promised to be something spectacular. It is here, among the ruins, where I finally see it.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder…. from among my ruins I look up and I see, with more clarity than ever, the One who has held me from the very beginning. There is peace and joy and delight in His gaze. He is not shaken by what He sees. It is as if He doesn’t see the shattered ruins of hopes and dreams. He sees only me. And He looks into my eyes with radiant joy in His own.
In His gaze I see love. Perfect love. The kind of love that drives out fear. And as I look into His eyes I catch my own reflection. I do not recognise it at first. It is more lovely than I dared imagine. It does not resemble the warn out face from the mirror. In this reflection I see something breath-taking. I see myself Redeemed by Jesus – the One who was once broken for me. In this new, Redeemed reflection I see His glory. I bear His image and it is altogether lovely.
With this new clarity of vision I see that the measure of my beauty is not reflected in my pursuit of glory, but rather in God’s glorious pursuit of me. The power unleashed by Jesus Christ reaches far beyond my feeble comprehension. Therefore, I will no longer try to hide the mess of my life from the God who sees. Rather, I will step aside and invite Him in to the ruins, because I know that He is the God who redeems. Look up, weary soul, look up! See the One who builds beauty out of your broken.