“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Broken. Overgrown. Left to decay. Mostly unnoticed despite its prominent location off of University Drive, this house stands in relative isolation. Despite its crumbling, exterior walls and other signs of decay, I absolutely love this house! Its condition begs for demolition, and yet this house is still special to me. “Why is this house so special?” This is a question that even I continue to ask myself as I look over my pictures. Here’s why… You see each of the bricks in picture below? Someone laid each and every single one of those and covered them in mortar. Another even painted the brick.
This house is a perfect example of what I was talking about in the post “Redefining Beauty.” The house’s beauty, therefore, does not lie in the perfection of its exterior. The house is beautiful because human hands built it, placing value in it by sacrificing their time and health to build it for another. Although it is deserted now, people once lived in it; this, also, makes it beautiful.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
If we have truly become a follower of Christ, it is our daily mission to grow more and more in the likeness of Christ. If this is so, that means that our actions, beliefs, and even persecutions will mirror His. From this verse in 1 Samuel, we learn that part of living our lives after Christ means rejecting our natural impulse to judge based on the appearance and reputation of another, but to see the heart.
Loving like Christ, then, means seeing others with all of their imperfections, yet remembering that Christ also died to save them. We begin to see just how much Christ loves them and how they are precious to Him. We see their hearts, and we are compelled to love them. Christ’s love compels us….
Just like the broken house, we are broken people. Our brokenness–from sin, from unbelief, from the fall–does not prevent the Lord from loving us. Our hearts, this is what He sees when He looks at us, and this is why He continues to love us. We are beautiful in His sight because He simply sees our exterior decay as an even greater back-drop for the display of His glory once He rebuilds us.
We are broken, yet in the sight of Christ, we are beautifully broken…
What does it mean to be beautiful? We use this word so often to talk about a girl wearing a new outfit, McDreamy’s eyes, or a picturesque sunset. I have struggled a lot with this issue, but God has been teaching me about what it means to be beautiful in His eyes. Here’s the definition that we came up with:
Beauty is the value held for an object of Creation demonstrated through sacrifice.
Imagine a table that you sit at. Before you came to know the table, it was a bunch of crude materials–wood, metal, etc. Someone came along, though, and planed that wood. Someone else operated the machine to make those screws that holds it together. Before you were even able to use that table, people had to sacrifice their time, their health, and their own desires in order to make a table for you to sit at, to use, and to enjoy. That table, then, became beautiful the moment that someone sacrificed his own self in order to make it. That sacrifice proved its value and worth, and that sacrifice made it beautiful.
Now think about your own self. Not only did God sacrifice His time and His resources to create you, but God sacrificed Himself when He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. There is no greater sacrifice in all of creation than this! God allowed for part of His own self to come to this earth and be hated, mocked, spit on, crucified, and even separated from Him all for the sake that WE could have the hope of living with Him in Heaven. If this–God sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross and be separated from God’s presence so that we could have the hope of eternity with Him–if this does not make us beautiful, I’m certain that nothing does.
We will only become aware of our true beauty when we when believe Him when He says, “You are Mine, and You are My treasure. You are precious and valuable to Me.” We are beautiful because of God’s love for us, and this beauty is guaranteed and demonstrated by the sacrifice of His Son. We are beautiful because we are His valued treasure.
It’s time to look in the mirror and to see your true beauty, maybe for even the first time.
It’s time to redefine beauty.
picture: mirror that says “Be a woman of true beauty”