i think you’re pretty!

Posted: September 3, 2008 in Christianity, Family
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was blessed enough to spend this past labor day at the beach with my family.  The kids and cousins had a great time playing together and I got to watch Bama open up a can on Clemson.

Though I had a good time, I’m not much of a beach person.  I love being there with the familiar sights, sounds and smells, but I I don’t like the actual beach unless the waves are big. Staying in the sun for any amount of time will make me miserable due to my amazing propensity for getting sunburned. Gee thanks, English heritage. Seriously – 15 minutes without sunblock and I’m toast. I can spend 2 hours outside covered with SPF 50 and still be red. I’ve jokingly said before that I even get moon burn at night. 🙂

I think the beach probably makes a lot of us aware of our physical faults. I’ve often struggled with the fact that I burn so easily while others, including my perfectly bronzed wife, tan so easily. Not just that, but I am also – oh how shall we say it – “husky.”  I’ve been told over and over I’m not fat. But I’m definitely not skinny either. For the best weight scale I’ve ever seen, please see this. (Caution: Rated PG). Bottom line, when I shop for clothes, I immediately look in the back of the rack or the bottom of the pile!

I know guys are not supposed to be concerned about this kind of stuff, but I do think about it regularly. Sometime during my mid-twenties it hit me: I seem to have inherited practically every negative body trait a man can have. Pale, pudgy, hairy, early gray hair, and thinning hair. Really, we all know guys with a few of these traits, but all 5 in one single specimen?! Geez…

So one day while away at a men’s conference I was bemoaning this fact. I don’t remember exactly why, but I was walking by myself back to my cabin and grumbling on the inside about how I inherited all the bad genes. My brother got the premature gray thing too but he’s thin and tans. You’d think I could maybe only have half of them. If I could at least stay out in the sun it would make the others tolerable. And whats up with this freakin’ back hair?! My friends eat as much or more than me but they don’t get fat. Poor me. Grey and thinning! I’m not even 30 yet. Sigh.

As I was walking back to my room, I heard the voice of God speak to me and say “I think you’re pretty!” I stopped dead in my tracks. Now lets just get this out of the way – no, I didn’t hear an audible voice. But it overwhelmed every other thought that I was having at the time and while it sounded like my thoughts, it just wasn’t me. It came from somewhere else.  After a 5 second pause for comprehension, I burst out laughing. See, the way He said it was amazing. With one sentence he told me how much He loved me, jolted me out of my pity party, reminded me to keep perspective on the natural vs. the spiritual, and made a joke (what guy wants to hear they are “pretty?”). It was exactly what I needed.

You know what? God thinks you’re pretty, too. You may not have the body you want and you may struggle with your shortcomings and inadequacies, but God thinks you’re pretty. He doesn’t see your faults and failings and He’s not into beating you up about them.  He’s not comparing you to everyone else. Yes, He loves you enough that that He will work with you on those things that you don’t like about yourself and the stuff you need to change. But He is much more concerned about your inner beauty. The physical body I have now is just temporary. Some of the stuff I don’t like about it are changeable and some I just can’t help. But I’m determined to live “pretty” – to have beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7) as I live my life loving others unconditionally the way that God loves me.

God thinks I’m pretty. I could lose weight, buy spray-on tanner, wax my chest, dye my hair and do hair restoration, but if I don’t live pretty I won’t ever really be pretty.  Maybe I’ll do both. But even if my body stays how it is now, boy, am I gonna look good throughout all eternity!

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