Sunday, September 26, 2004

beautiful beauty

i have a bad habit of saving some blogs to read when i have a nice chunk of time to digest them. i haven't had that uninterrupted time lately, so i have almost missed out on the focus on beauty in the word challenge that wes roberts has given. he's been posting his thoughts on beauty for the past two weeks or so.

i just finished reading them all and have so enjoyed the process. although i think i'll try to keep up with the next word - imagination on a post by post basis! even though i haven't been reading them as they come, i have been pondering and ruminating on words beauty & beautiful; and i find myself struggling with these words.

they speak of supermodels and perfection to me - not something attainable or personal. i can appreciate beauty outside of myself, in creation, art, music, even in the beauty of another. i just can't seem to bridge the gap that in any way, shape or form links those words to me. i'm not fishing for compliments here, just trying to be honest. there may be parts of me that might be considered pretty, and maybe i even have 'beautiful' hair (it's copper red, many have told me so). but beautiful isn't a word that i associate with myself - and so these words have been a struggle for me.

it just so happens that during this time i have been listening to a new artist. her extraordinary talent makes it hard to believe that she is only 15. her name is bethany dillon and her cd arrived in our interlinc box a couple of weeks ago and i haven't set it aside since. she has a single called, surprisingly, beautiful. listening to it has forced me to deal with my self image and how that word penetrates into my life. (she even has a song called revolutionaries - which happened to be wes' last word!)

i was so unique now i feel skin deep
count on the makeup to cover it all
crying myself to sleep
because i cannot keep their attention
thought i could be strong
but it's killing me
does someone hear my cry
i'm dying for new life

i want to be beautiful
and make you stand in awe
look inside my heart and be amazed
i want to hear you say
who i am is quite enough
just want to be worthy of love
and beautiful

sometimes i wish i was someone other than me
fighting to make the mirror happy
trying to find whatever is missing
won't you help me back to glory

you make me beautiful
you make me stand in awe
look inside my heart and be amazed
i want to hear you say
who i am is quite enough
just want to be worthy of love
and beautiful

i know that 'beautiful' isn't a prerequisite of being 'worthy of love' and the two aren't linked in most people's minds. in my head i 'know' i don't have to be beautiful to be loved, but when she joined those two thoughts together they penetrated into my soul and the lies have been exposed. they are painful ones to dwell on. maybe that is why i have been avoiding wes' blog?

as an exercise he encouraged us to read 4 passages from the message that describe the beauty of god in fresh new words.

In all these readings, one needs to read the whole context of the chapter. I got wonderfully lost several times pondering "terrible beauty" in the following.......

Job 37...speaks of a terrible beauty that streams from God

Psalm 68...speaks about a terrible beauty that streams from the sanctuary of God

Psalm 96...terrible beauty shows up again, as well as powerful beauty

Matthew 6...speaks of blazing beauty from within a very familiar portion of scripture
i read them at my desk and i was transported from my white walls to places of true beauty. wes' rocky mountains, stephanie's ocean vista, sunrises and sunsets, the place where he 'ties the dragons tail in knots and muzzles the deep blue sea' (ps. 68:22-23).

beauty is in the eye of the beholder we are told. i know i am beholden of god. i weep as i type the words that i'm holding in my heart. i am beautiful in his eyes, he looks inside my heart and sees the beauty of his image there. that he sees his reflection in my eyes and the things that matter to him reflect back. that is what makes me beautiful. not the mirror, or the makeup, or the hair. man looks on the outward appearance, but god looks on the heart. oh god make my heart beautiful today.

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