Tonight I felt it quietly as I prayed for God to teach me about beauty and posted a blog about intimacy with Him. While I updated the site I felt my fragility surface, well actually it was there the whole time, I just felt my awareness of my fragility creep in. It crept painfully. I felt the ache of insecurity and the sting of fear too. My mind wondered.. "Is this relevant? Is what I have to say good? Is it as good as her blog? Would my Bible studying friends think it was Biblical and theological enough? Is this stuff that I write about really happening in my life or am I just writing so that I can boast in my knowledge of God?"
Humility. That's all I have been wanting the last few days. I want to be genuine. True. Broken actually. I want to need God and depend totally on Him. I also want to love others without judgement. Broken and humble. Lord please free me from fear. I hate fearing things... flying, boating, getting wrinkles, crooked teeth, wasting my life, being poor, failing people, failing You.. so much fear. God please set me free.
"..Perfect love casts out fear.." 1 John 4:18
So back to my blog-posting-fragility-awareness...
Then I start thinking about the photos of me. Is my face shaped funny? Is my hair too big? How do my photos compare to the photos of the models I saw plastering the streets of New York city today? I think its safe to admit that my thighs and butt will always be a bit more.. bodacious.. than my favorite Victoria's Secret model. My skin is also bumpier.. I am not sure when pimples clear up.. it feels like it happens just in time for wrinkles to take their place. Excellent.
There's a feeling that models are at the peak of value as far as physical beauty is concerned. They are so strikingly attractive that they are paid and praised for their appearance. Today as we drove down the New York city streets I awed over their gorgeous photos hoping to see a model I recognized.
Then at one point we were stopped at a stop light and I saw a large perfume add framed on the side of a bus stop. The girl in the image had gorgeous crystal blue eyes and each of her features were exquisitely placed on her face. She was magnificent. Then as I studied her picture I saw a woman walk by, a pedestrian, probably similar in age to the girl in the photograph. A question arose in my mind,
"Is the girl in the frame more valuable than the girl on the sidewalk?"
The girl walking by was neither eye-catching nor drab, she was just a girl walking by. But the question of value reminded me of a question I asked some of my young teenage friends last week,
"Is a $100 bill worth more if it is clean and hung on a wall, than it would be if it were dirty on the ground?"
No. A $100 bill is worth $100. The value does not change. Even if 50 people yelled, "The $100 bill on the wall is worth $200! The $100 bill on the ground is worth $25!" They would be false. They may be loud, but they are still wrong. They would both still be worth $100. Why? Because the authority said so. Who is the authority? The one who created the money. Who is that? The U.S. Government.
Now for the model and the pedestrian. Was one of them worth more than the other? No. Even if culture and money scream otherwise. They would be false. They may be loud, but they are still wrong. They would still be worth the same amount. Why? Because the authority said so. Who is the authority? The One who created the girls. Who is that? God. The Great I AM. Jesus Christ. The Creator of the Universe. How much does He say these girls are worth? EVERYTHING. He gave His life to save the life of that blue-eyed super model. He loves her. He is delighted in her. She is precious. And the girl walking by? He gave all He was to save all she is. He gave His Son for her. He was looking at her long before I noticed her and He is still adoring her right now. She is precious.
So... what does that have to do with my fragility? I think it is just a reminder that He knows. He sees me. He sees you. He knows our lives and He loves them. He understands how scary it is to be us. He knows the way we all question our worth, our beauty, our appearance... we all do it. I do it. The supermodel on the perfume ad does it. So does the pedestrian walking by. But God sees, Jesus Christ knows just what its like and He is our answer. He gently reminds us to be still, to seek Him, to rest in His love and find safety in His protection and comfort. Our value is determined by Him alone.
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[d] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.