Beautiful?

Saturday, the boy and I had the house to ourselves, so we made good use of our time and watched movies.  One of the movies we opted for was the third Narnia movie – Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  In it, there was an insidious green vapor (or cloud) that caused the characters of the movies to do the opposite of what they should.  That alone would make a great blog…and someday may…but today, I want to focus on the character Lucy.

If you’re not familiar with the series, let me fill in a couple of details.   The book series was written by CS Lewis and is a Christian allegory.  In the series, Aslan is a lion who is always there when needed, who is the king of the world of Narnia and who is good.  In other words, he represents God in the books.

Lucy is the youngest of four children.  In the first two movies, all four children are involved, but this movie only starred the two younger kids.  Lucy was cute in the first movie, but puberty had done to her what it does to many cute little girls – she was a bit awkward and didn’t see herself as pretty at all.  However, her older sister Susan was beautiful.  Lucy longed to be beautiful like Susan.  When she found a spell in the “Book of Incantations” that promised to make one beautiful, Lucy tore the page out of the book and took it with her.

Later, when Lucy was alone, she cast the spell.  As she looked into the mirror, she saw Susan’s reflection instead of her own and was elated.  She nudged the mirror to get a better view and it opened into a different world.  She stepped out into a garden party of sorts and was joined by her brothers.  All was well until a photographer offered to take their picture and one of the brothers mentioned how thrilled their mother would be with a picture of all of her children.  Suddenly her elation turned to horror.  As she questioned her brothers about Lucy and they had no clue who she was referring to, she realized that she hadn’t just been made to look like Susan, she had actually been turned into Susan.  Just as the realization truly hit her, Aslan roared and brought her back to herself, back in front of the mirror, just as she was before.

Sadly, he asked Lucy, “Child, what have you done?”  As does God when He asks us these questions, Aslan already knew the answer.  As Lucy tried to stammer out an explanation, Aslan speaks three powerful statements to her that I believe we all need to hear (especially women).  “You wished yourself away.”  “You doubt your value.”  “Don’t run from who you are.”

Wow.  Did you read those?  How often have you wished you were different?  Prettier, maybe?  Smarter?  Bolder?  I know I have.  So many times, I wished I were calmer, steadier, “normal.”  But to wish those things about myself is to wish away the very person God means for me to be!  Once, in the midst of wondering why I couldn’t be calm and dignified like some of the Christian women around me, God spoke this to my heart, “I made you to be boisterous!”  Now, boisterous isn’t what I would’ve chosen for me.  But, God chose it for me and to try to be anything else is painful (for me and everyone who has to put up with me!).

When we wish ourselves away, we often do it because we doubt our value.  Recently, I listened with a heavy heart as a sister in Christ revealed that she hated the way she looked.  She has labeled herself as “undesirable” because of what she sees to be physical imperfections.  She doubts her value because of extra weight she carries.  As we all tried to explain that she was so much more to us than what her scales may tell her, I could tell we weren’t getting through and my heart was broken for her.

When we pointed out to our dear friend that God looks at the heart, she cried out that she wanted to be beautiful and desirable in man’s eyes.  I appreciate her absolute honesty. I so get it.  We live in a world that tells us that we can only be desirable if we’re tall, thin and beautiful.  Well, by those standards, I don’t have a shot!  I’m neither tall nor thin.  And although I’m not ugly, I’m not sure I consider myself beautiful either.  But, all this misses the point really.  God doesn’t look at our outward appearance.  When God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint a new king, Samuel thought for sure he had found the right son of Jesse when he saw Eliab.  God said to him, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7, NASB  We forget, as we long to look better, that this earthen vessel is our short-term home.  To accept the lie that our value is tied to our looks is to sell ourselves out to the enemy.  He alone wants us to feel so undesirable, unworthy that we can’t focus on the things God has for us to do.

Which brings me to “Don’t run from who you are.”  Well, that’s a deep one.  Jonah tried to run.  We see where that got him – an all-expenses paid vacation in the belly of a whale!  Moses tried to run – but ended up right back in Egypt doing God’s will.  Esther tried to run.  (Incidentally, she is the only Bible character I could find whose beauty actually mattered for her mission from God.).  To try to change who we are is to try to run from what God has for us.  Yes, we should allow God to change and mold our imperfections, but even in that, He often uses those very imperfections for His glory.  Don’t try to fit this world’s mold.  It’s messed up!

So, my advice to my sweet friend who thinks she’s nothing more than her weight, her clothes size?  Lose weight to be healthier, if you want.  Lose weight to wear different clothing (or fit in clothing you already own.)  Lose weight to feel better.  But, don’t you dare lose weight to try to be beautiful!  Because, you are already beautiful.  When I was growing up, a rather crass man  my parents were friends with used to say, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes straight to the bone.”  Ha!  Yes and amen!  What matters is on the inside, I promise!  And, if folks only see the outside, they are the ones with the problem, not you!

I think MercyMe expresses it so well in their song, “Beautiful.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C2o0jHNRuU

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart they’d see too much

You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You’re beautiful

And praying that you have the heart to find
Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
And they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You’re beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves enough to die

You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
In His eyes

You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His

So….what about you?  Are you wishing yourself away, doubting your worth, running from who you’re meant to be?  Today’s a good day to stop.  Hand it all over to God and let Him work it out.  And, I’m going to take my own advice.  That means you should see more blogs – and hopefully a book with my name on the cover.

Be blessed and tell someone you love them!

 

 

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About meanderingswithgod

I Write. It’s what I do. It’s as vital a part of me as breathing. I write when I’m happy. I write when I’m sad. I write when I don’t understand. Or when I understand a little too clearly. I write when God’s speaking to me. And when I’m speaking to Him. And, more often than not, it comes out in rhythm and rhyme. In my words, you’ll find laughter and tears, pain and triumph, confusion and clarity. In my words, if you bother to search, you’ll find me. So, it is with both excitement and trepidation that I begin. This blog. This writing that’s been so long coming. My words. God’s words. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell the difference. Mine are clumsy, His are eloquent. I hope, as you read my verbal meanderings, that you’ll be blessed and find yourself searching for Him.
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2 Responses to Beautiful?

  1. Paula Hood says:

    Ok, this is twice since yesterday morning I have heard references to the stories if Narnia. I had no clue until yesterday of the biblical references and symbolism. I feel the need to read these now. I heard the story of one of their friends who accompanied them to Narnia and was a very negative, troubled kid. He found the cave of treasure and turned into the dragon, blah blah blah. I’m sure you know that one. But God had to help him see who he was on the inside and how that had become visible on the outside. It was painful to shed the layers but he did it with the help of Aslan (God). So needed to hear these things and now I feel propelled to read these books. Thx so much for sharing this message.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Paula, that kid is actually in the movie we watched Saturday. I’m sure the books do the story far more justice than the movies, but I confess that I’ve never had the patience to read them, except The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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