2 Corinthians 4:7-10
I recently discovered that my face is dramatically unbalanced. I was going on television and a public relations executive explained this fact to me. Hours later, a makeup artist said the same thing, followed by, “Everyone has it. It’s what makes you, you.” One added, “Some—like you—more than others, but the flaws are there in everyone. You still look beautiful.” She shrugged, “It’s God’s way.” They were nonplussed as they swept a little hair to one side, added extra blush to balance me out, and told me to sit up straight and smile. It was an unexpected moment of grace on a Manhattan soundstage.
At 53, what was obvious to them was a shocking revelation to me. I flashed back to years of squinting at cameras and mirrors and shifting to my “good side.” How many thousands of school pictures and iPhone photos had I rejected in a quest for the perfect view? Feeling good one moment, then catching the wrong angle in the mirror and feeling flawed again. I don’t measure up to DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man drawings or the Greek golden ratio of beauty. How much makeup did I buy to cure this? How much soft lighting did I seek? Then two women explained it, embraced it, gave God credit, and moved on. How refreshing to have my imperfection become at once so clear and so meaningless. It’s just you, they said…amazing you.
Perhaps behind these imperfections are God’s treasures that, in God’s eyes, are not imperfections at all. But without the struggle, there can be no joy. There’s no beholding beauty without grasping flaws. We can’t find love without knowing its absence. We can’t live without the sacrifice of death. We are perplexed, maybe awakened, but not despairing. There’s no you without all that is within you. This is the treasure that God put there. We must unlock it. That’s what makes it precious and rare.
What flaws do you have that don’t matter than much? How can you see them as gifts from God?
God, may I recognize your treasures within me when I see them. Amen.