Beauty

Hollywood, Nashville, New York, and much of the modern church say you must be beautiful for me to listen to what you say.  The importance of your word is directly proportional to the face that speaks.

I would mention names but then that would take away from the honesty, heartfelt worship and real suffering that are a part of some very beautiful people.

My point isn’t to take away from what they say.

I don’t mean to offend, and I’m preaching to myself. But, if you’re “ugly” and you feel unheard, part of the problem is you.

Two things are at work. First, do you really believe in the God who called you? If you do, then preach it, sing it, live it, share it.

Second, who’s your audience? Who do you want for an audience?

Side note: I don’t accept that we have an audience of one. Remember, Jesus said we were to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. AND love our neighbor.

Where was I? Oh yeah…

I want the big audience. I want everyone telling me how great and deep and amazing I am.

I don’t want the audience that can only stand to listen to me for two minutes (unless I’m reading a book to them). Or the one that gets bored with my intellectual dissertation. Or the one that hates my God, my Bible, my faith, but still needs to see me love them.

We ask, “who am I? Why would they listen to me?” And allow ourselves to be quiet. We ask, “who are they that I should invest my time, pour out my heart and soul?”

I think it is time for the ugly to speak up, to let our voice be heard. We have a unique perspective on God’s love, His calling, a relationship with Him that the beautiful, the popular, the successful need to hear.

Most of them only see their ugly.

And as His light and live shine through us. . .

We become beautiful too.

I am wanted.  I am needed.  I am loved.

we tend to perceive our world and respond to it within certain constructs.  Even within the extremes of pessimism and optimism there are variations in how we receive and disseminate information.

I was praying for our kid’s ministry the other day when, out of the blue, God says to me, “You are operating under lies.  Change your perspective.  Say, I am wanted.  I am needed.  I am loved.”  So I repeated what He said to me.  He said to say it louder.  It was like a movie.

I tend toward looking at myself as ugly, fat, untalented, ridiculous.  I tend toward seeing people respond to me as someone they don’t really like, an unessential part of the whole.  I tend to see my gifts as weak, ineffective, silly.  And at least on the surface, that would appear to be the truth.

But God’s Kingdom is so different than we perceive.  He wants a relationship with all people, to love them and be loved by them.  He created each of us as unique individuals that bring a wide variety of responses to the needs and issues of this world.  And the world needs us.  They need us whole, redeemed by Jesus’ blood, forgiven and able to forgive, broken and healed, finite and foolish.  In all of our specific, ridiculous, amazing idiosyncrasies, we are sent to bear His name.

So maybe the Piston’s don’t need me as a starting forward.  Maybe the New York Philharmonic doesn’t need me as their principal hornist.  But the factory where I work, the church where I serve, the family that I lead, the God that I love wants me, needs me, loves me.

Say it with me.

I am wanted.

I am needed.

I AM LOVED!