Tag Archives: see

The Other Side of Beautiful.

I live in a cabin that’s almost 240 years old. Oh if the walls could talk. Andrew Jackson has stood in my living room in front of this fireplace; it’s been said Daniel Boone walked across the front yard. There is all kinds of history on this property.

The cabin has (what I call) character and is a story within itself. Some look at it and see its faults and everything that needs to be fixed but I see the beautiful. It does need work and on the side where nobody can see the beginnings of renovation is taking place. From the visible side, it looks much better.

The side you can’t see shows what it’s been through. If you choose to see that side, you have to walk around to where you can. Nobody sees it unless they make the effort to see it.

We’re much like this historical cabin. We all have a side we don’t show (or try not to) to the world. We choose to let others see our beautiful, our socially acceptable, try-to-fit-in-and-be-good self; the everything-is-fine-and-I-love-life self. The majority only care about that side of us; few ever venture “around the house” to see the other less exposed side, the self we work so hard to hide.

If you’ve lived a few years, you’ve weathered some storms and if others look close enough, they can see it. You’ve been hurt, wounded, made some mistakes and have the scars and marks to prove it. Everyone has another side of beautiful. Everyone. Everyone has a side they don’t really want others to see. Some, though, can’t help but show it. They’re the ones we see on the streets with no place to call home, no resources and no people supporting them. We try not to look because we want to see beautiful; we want someone else to help them. Those closest to you – just like you – have a side that is less than beautiful. We all have a side we would just as soon not show.

Look at them the next time you can. LOOK at the people with you in the checkout line at the store. LOOK at them and pray for them. Ask God for opportunities to smile at them and look them in the eye and ways to help. They’re beautiful too! Others you’re exposed to have deep places and fears they don’t share with anyone. They may need a positive, encouraging word or smile to let them know they’re not alone and they are loved, ugly and all.

God loves us despite of and IN spite of our ugly. He KNOWS our other side of beautiful and has chosen to love us anyway! He wants to touch our ugly and heal us. He wants to do a major renovation in us and He will if we let him. He will even use our other side to encourage someone else if we’ll let Him.

The next time you’re seeing beautiful in others and places think about what you don’t see. Be thankful for the beautiful and pray God is allowed to touch the other side and make it beautiful too.

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Allowing the Artist to Work.

To the unknowing eye, the room looks like it’s filled with all kinds of useless junk. To the one who uses it to craft, every piece has a purpose. He knows just why it’s been preserved and how it will be used.

He takes what’s broken, discarded, unwanted and useless (to me) and begins to work. Like an artist with a blank canvas, he creates something out of nothing; he makes beautiful what was ugly. When he’s finished it no longer resembles what it once was. Of course, you never thought the throwaway stuff was worth anything so you tossed it. You’re amazed! You marvel at the creativity of the craftsman. He gives his finished work to you to do with what you please. So you take it home and for awhile it’s displayed proudly as the original he created just for you. Then you get new things to decorate with and eventually the masterpiece is tucked away and forgotten.

I’ve done this lots of times. A treasure becomes just another thing; it doesn’t fit anymore so I put it away and soon it’s forgotten. This is a perfect analogy of our walk with God. When He’s “new” to us, we display and proclaim everything He’s done to anyone we can. We show Him off and He’s our main topic of conversation for a while until the new becomes old and He’s tucked away only to be brought out when we need something or something bad happens.

Let’s go to our storage rooms and open some boxes. Let’s pull out the stuff we no longer want or the things too painful to want to remember. Let’s expose them to our Master Artist. Let’s not only expose them; let’s give them to Him…all our junk, our buried and forgotten messes and give Him the room to work. If you have as much junk as I do, it will take some time. Let’s give Him free reign and all the time He needs to work. Let’s let Him craft us, restoring and healing all the stuff we’ve tucked away, hidden and don’t want to deal with. Over time, you’ll be amazed at what He does with it. Don’t give Him instructions! He’s the Master Craftsman. Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing.

Now look at the finished product and have eyes to see how beautiful and unique the treasure He has created is…just for you! While you admire His work and are thankful for it, don’t miss the fact that it’s yours to do with as you please. Will you display it? Will you tell your friends to come and see it? Will you tuck it away in a place and go look at it once in a while? Or, will you look at it later when you have more time?

Display Christ in your life for all to see. When you think of Him remember everything He’s done for you. Tell others this Artist will create for them what He has for you…a new creature. When He’s finished with what they give Him, the mess won’t be recognized. That’s His mantra, you know, making lovely things from our brokenness and baggage. No one does it better…if we let Him work.