Thursday, June 5, 2008

beauty.

A few weeks ago a questioned came up at girl's bible study:
who do you really admire as beautiful?

Yesterday at the doctor's office, our 2 year old was drawn to the most beautiful of ladies. Earline was born and raised on a cotton farm in Mississippi. She struggled raising her five children alone in Chicago. Life had taken her many places before sitting beside me. Ailah immediately knew she was beautiful, seeing through her aged body and gruff voice. She played with and loved my baby for over an hour, sharing with me many struggles and much heartache throughout her life, and her trust in Jesus. She is truly one of the most beautiful women I have ever met.

Last night our youth pastor gave more than an incredible message, it jumped out and grabbed my heart. He talked about how many facts we know about public figures.

Even Christian public figures. Seriously, did you know that Toby Mac has 4 children? Two which are twins. He lives in Tennessee. He is going to be at Sonshine festival this year, with John Rueben. Who by the way is only a couple days older than me.

But when I went to both of their concerts, neither one called my name out of the crowd. It didn't matter how much I knew about them, they didn't know me. I was a nobody to them. Is it that way with Jesus? Do I know a lot about Him and even like Him a whole bunch. Or do I share my life with Him everyday as my friend, as if a king or a president was in my presence, calling out to me, "Melanie, my friend, get on over here!"

I know so much about this actor or that- but how about the "least"? How do we know them? Do orphaned faces make the cover of People magazine, "look at those cute little dreads or her scared big beautiful eyes! "

How many times have I tried to be the beautiful that I have pictured in my little head. Have I thought that I was what I weighed or wore, or was gifted in?

What is beautiful to me? Where do I see it? The adorable. The successful. The famous. The talented.

Earline was raised in segregated Mississippi. MLK words," I have a dream that even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heart of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!"

Sometimes I think the lies that entrap me about beautiful hold me down, bind me with strings and ropes and chains. Not allowing me to love as Ailah loved and be blessed by Christ reflecting through Earline. Do I dare stretch MLK words to "to live in a world where they will not be valued by the world's image of beauty, color of skin, or continent of birth, but by their identity in their Creator?"


5 comments:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

*speechless* Beautiful...I'm gonna think on that hard question today. Thanks Mel.

Michelle Gibilisco said...

Wow, I struggle with this daily!! I have a huge problem with judging others. Mike says it's the German in me...I don't know but I'm always saying stuff like "I can't believe she's gotten so heavy, their house is so dirty, yada, yada!" I have to fight daily not to judge, and even though I might not ever say it outloud, I'm doing it in my head! Kids are so much better about not judging, when do we learn this aweful trait?

momzie said...

i love your heart. humble, transparent, teachable, hungry for more of Jesus.

Sarah M. said...

Sarah@life in the parsonage refered me to you. This post on beauty as well as the one on "odd" daughters has been used by God to reaffirm his voice above the chatter of the world. My husband put it so well the other nightwhen he said, "I am sorry there are so many conduits making you feel inadequate, you're not."
Thanks again!

Becoming Me said...

Beautiful and very thought provoking.