Thursday, March 31, 2016
“True beauty is not related to what color your hair is or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass.” ― Ellen DeGeneres
As a student (and professor) of English literature, I have always loved the poetry of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet. He has added much to our language as almost everyone has heard about how the plans of mice and men don’t always work out. That’s from a poem called “To A Mouse” and the phrase “Of Mice and Men” is also the title of a John Steinbeck work that has been done on stage and as a movie. The actual words from the poem are “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft agley,” but you never hear that. He wrote a companion poem called “To a Louse” about a woman dressed to the nines flouncing into church where she wanted everyone to see her but couldn’t see that a louse was climbing from her hair up onto her hat. In this poem, Burns says that (I’m paraphrasing) oh what a gift that God would give us, if we could see ourselves as others see us. I’m not sure that would be a gift at all. For some, it would be a really good thing but for others, it could be devastating. What we need to be able to do is to see ourselves as God sees us. I love watching car shows on television where they find an old rusted hulk in a barn somewhere and then restore it to all its former glory and the result is a beautiful car worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our tendency is to see ourselves as only the rusting hulk because we cannot see what we would become if we put ourselves in the hands of a master restorer. There is no greater restorer than God who can forgive you sins, wipe away your past, and create in you a clean heart and send the Holy Spirit shining forth from every pore of your body. You know people (and may be one) whose beauty or looks are never important because who they are screams so loudly that what they look like is just insignificant. Mother Teresa is a case in point. I think every picture of her is of a truly beautiful woman, but she would never have been hired by an ad agency to promote beauty products. If we fail to see her true beauty, we are blind indeed. You are so much more than your reflection in a mirror. What counts is how much you reflect Christ in your countenance. What a gift we would have, if we could see ourselves as God sees us, ignoring all the warts and flaws, but seeing instead all the beauty, love, compassion, and kindness that are your true reflection. Don’t sell yourself short. God didn’t make no junk! And you can take that to the bank.