Next week I’m speaking at a conference entitled ‘Beautiful‘.
When you hear that word, what springs to mind? A sunset? A film star? A family member or a friend?
Would you ever apply it to yourself?
I’m guessing the answer is a resounding ‘no’. In fact, I’d go further. I wonder if just the idea of being referred to in this way makes you laugh.
– Beautiful? Me? You must be Joking.
Except that, it’s not funny. The opposite. When you try to think of yourself as ‘beautiful’, you flinch. You feel angry or teary. It’s like someone’s chipped into the shell that keeps you together. The term gets under your skin. You push it away, but it just goes deeper. It niggles and it scratches and it burns.
Beautiful. Roll it around in your mouth. Savour it. Imagine how it would feel. To be – beautiful. Say it. Say It. I Am Beautiful. Not just on the outside – but the inside too. Can you picture it? Because you’ve thought about it, right? You want it. You want it so much you can taste it. You’d give anything – anything to be that person.
But you’re not. Doesn’t matter who tells you or what you do. You’re nowhere close and just looking in the mirror – well, you Don’t Go There. You Don’t Think. Scrub at your body in the shower and clothe it and move it around but it’s just a lump of stuff and who cares, right?
Pull the curtains, tight shut. Put away the old photos, the stranger, full of hope. It was too late, even then. Even as a child. Beauty is not for you.
It’s grey in your head and there’s no beauty there either but that’s fine, that’s okay. You keep busy. And you read about it in other people. The magazine covers, the holidays, the soft furnishings and the wallpaper. They’ve got it. They’re beautiful. Except in the light. In the light, when you look at their eyes – it’s unmistakable. That same hunger. The yearning – for something bigger.
I’ve tried to make myself beautiful – every way I know how. But I don’t have the power to do it – whether with money or morals or make-up.
Beauty you see, is a gift. It comes from outside. We burn ourselves out by trying to make ourselves beautiful. Instead, we have to be told. Before and apart from all our strivings, we need to know this: there is a King and He is enthralled by our beauty. Psalm 45:11.