1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
My mother has a favorite saying, one I heard repeatedly growing up: Don't judge a book by its cover. Sage advice, but easier said than done. Especially in a culture which celebrates outward beauty and youthful looks.
We need seek no further than the "People" type of magazines confronting us each time we stand in the grocery store check out line. Their glossy, come-hither covers feature entertainers and celebrities with flawless looks and perfect figures. Those who are deemed by the media to be stunningly gorgeous or handsome. It's enough to make us loathe looking at our own reflection in the mirror.
Then, there are what I like to call the "rag-mags," the weekly trash bins touting in lurid photos which movie stars are now overweight, or who look hideous without make-up, or are dressing in an unflattering or scandalous manner. When we see how "ugly" they are in appearance, don't most of us feel, unfairly, might I add, just a wee bit better about our own looks? I wouldn't be caught dead in a bathing suit that skimpy! I thought I was fat - just look at her! She's just a Plain Jane without her make-up after all.
And, on and on and on we can go. It is human nature to be drawn to the outward beauty of a person even though we may experience episodes of jealousy, or be repulsed, and selfishly gratified, by another's physical detriments.
It is sinful human nature.
In this year I've named "Love," God has opened my eyes in surprising, delightful, and even alarming ways. When I catch myself on the verge of judging that person-book by his/her looks, either exquisite or lacking, He gently nudges me, reminds me of His great love for all people no matter how they may appear on the outside. He takes my hand to walk that second mile of understanding and compassion. Asks me to love them. To see His fingerprints all over them.
To know, unequivocally, that His fingerprints are on me, too. That I am His beloved child, loved and cherished just the way I am.
No matter what the mirror says.
Loved . . .
You are God's unique creation. His fingerprints are all over you! Will you live that way?
Will you pray with me?
Thank You, Father, for showing us that beauty is only skin deep. Give us the eyes to see as You see and the the hearts to love as You love, knowing Your fingerprints are on every precious person You have created. Amen.