the ugly made beautiful
"Le laid peut être beau." The ugly can be beautiful.
- Paul Gaugin, French painter
When I began to think about 'beauty' as a topic to write about, I knew I had something I wanted to say...more so, I knew God had so much He wanted me to say.
And so, I want to talk about the ugly, and the constant hurry we feel to get out of it.
In the hurry and worry of life, we are always trying to rush through experiences, emotions and thoughts…without patience or stillness. And in our journey to acceptance, contentment and loving ourselves for who and what God designed us to be- we seem to want to skip past the ugly, in hope of the beautiful that waits for us at the other end. We seem to be constantly searching for quick, instant ways to solve our lack of confidence, self-acceptance and worry-filled thoughts.
We are always trying to fix the way we are, the ‘ugly’ parts of our lives and ourselves.
In God’s scriptures, we see words like self-discipline, patience, perseverance, peace… and cringe at the reality that real change doesn’t happen overnight. Real beauty doesn’t magically happen in our lives.
Whether it’s about our physical beauty…(our desire to eat healthier, exercise more, swap bad habits for positive changes to feel more alive physically for God…)
or our spiritual and emotional journey of learning to love God, other’s and ourselves- we are constantly trying to change the ugly, in a hurry.
Now, I am not saying that radical change doesn’t lead to being radically changed -by the power and grace of the Spirit it is possible!
But most times, beauty is something that grows. Beauty that is not just physical, but the beauty of the God inside us, the beauty that He designs in our hearts, minds and souls, the more we trust and love in Him.
I am talking here about the beauty that comes in our journey with Christ…through our walks, wounds, worries and wonder-filled moments and experiences that we share with our God.
The Lord grows beauty.
He makes everything beautiful in it’s time. Ecclesiastes 3:11.
Only the Lord can make beauty from the ashes… from the ugly and messy situations and experiences of life. Isaiah 61:3
Only the Lord can guide, satisfy and strengthen us, making us beautiful, well-watered gardens. Isaiah 58:11
The Lord grows beauty, even from the things we consider ugly.
“What if what we regard as ugly, unlovely, is in Jesus, lovely…because somewhere, underneath the grime of this broken world, everything has the radiant fingerprint of God.” Ann Voskamp
From the ugly, beauty grows. God doesn’t promise that it will happen overnight, but says be trusting, patient and persevere in the hope that He will make something beautiful the ugly.
After all, the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins was ugly. But from His death, came life. From His death came hope, joy, freedom and love.
“You make beautiful things out of the dust,
You make beautiful things, out of us.”
Gungor, “Beautiful things”