Wednesday, May 13, 2015

God Don't Like Ugly

No other age group can misdefine, misuse, and wear out a term like teenagers.  The title phrase has been around for scores, but I never used it in my vernacular until my students started arbitrarily calling each other "ugly." If you're playing around and make a weird face, "that's ugly." If you get mad when your friend was "just joking," that's ugly. If your friend doesn't know what other fake insult to throw at you, you're ugly.  If you are legitimately unattractive, you're ugly.

But I quickly noticed that calling people names is ugly. So is coarse joking and rebellion. So is grudge-holding, retaliation, and complaining.

Most days when I put on my makeup and take too many selfies and post them, I use the hashtags #PrettyOnTheInside #PrettyOnTheOutside.  I discovered long ago that I didn't want to have on tons of makeup and the cutest outfit but have a pattern of ugly behavior.  If my natural curls are on fleek but I just finished using my harsh sarcasm on a student, I am out of order.

I realized that so many "pretty girls" are like this.  Their faces are attractive, but they are not gracious, they are not sweet, they are critical, vain and unfriendly.  I've been that way before.

After four years being a part of the IVVC church family, people started telling me I was sweet and welcoming.  This was new to me.  I've always been smart, sometimes supportive, always creative, and direct, but rarely sweet.  I got the Attitude Award in junior high cheer because "when she has a good attitude, she has the best, and when she has a bad attitude, she has the worst."  It took me a long time to figure out what happened at church that made me sweeter.

It was the concentrated, saturated basking and soaking in the presence of God.  It was spending 2 to 10 hours every week in the Holy Place understanding how small and insignificant I am and how great and generous and loving God is.

When you spend time in His presence consistently, you come away radiant, like Moses.

As I scroll through Instagram looking for makeup artists and fashion bloggers to inspire me, I always wonder, "Is she also pretty on the inside?"  As I put my face on every morning, I wonder "Is my personality prettier today than yesterday?"

John and Stasi Eldredge write about the healing and redeeming power of beauty, how it invites and inspires.  I want to be one of those women who can't ever be called ugly, regardless of whether my face is bare or made and whether I'm slaying or keeping it lowkey.


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