Finding Beauty in the Unlovely

Filed under Lauren's Thoughts on Nov 26 12 by

Lately, I’ve been forced to face a lot of the flaws in my character that I would rather leave unexposed, even before my own heart. Something that I find myself struggling with is looking down on others, especially people whose own flaws make me uncomfortable or affect my happiness in some way. Right now, I have a mental register of the people who I’m frustrated at: the lady on the train who was rude to me, the man who almost turned a group of people into living dominos on the subway because he was impatient, the guy who totally creeped me out while I was walking to work.

Even in my inner circle, I can find myself getting frustrated with my friends when they wrong me or do things that I find irritating. It is easy to think that these feelings are okay, especially when they are justified. Sometimes, the offender is truly at fault, and has indeed done something to hurt me. But it’s my choice to carry that anger and view them for that mistake, or to let God transform the way that I see them.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Luke 23:34 NIV

When Jesus died, there were men who beat and mocked Him. It would have been tempting to view these people as the hideous, wretched, sinful beings that they were. But Jesus came to rescue these men. So when He looked into their eyes, He didn’t see their hatred and their brokenness. With His eyes of wisdom, He saw these men as who they were created to be, as who they had the potential to become once He completed His sacrifice. So He overlooked the obvious filth and chose to forgive.

At my church, we are often reminded that to “honor” is to bestow value and to “dishonor” is to treat as common or ordinary. As I walk through the streets of the city, I see countless faces, some clean, some dirty, some happy, some sad. It’s easy to decide that these people are common, just another person in the masses. But God doesn’t see them that way. When I choose to give Him control, He opens my eyes and allows me to see what He sees when the train employee mistreats me. I see someone who just made my morning a bit worse; He sees someone who is hurting, but beautiful, and who could reflect His glory in a way that no one else can.

If you take the time to think about it, it’s astonishing: even the least of us is meant to reflect the glory of God. We are imperfect, but when the Holy Spirit fills us, we are made new.

Finding beauty in the unlovely

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.