Finding Beauty in the Bleh

by

Have you ever had one of those bleh sort of days? When the mundane rules and the body moves slow and the cozy sounds delightful?

It’s a bleh sort of day over here. No downer moods. Simply a sense of a low-key day. My body doesn’t feel energized. I’m a bit lethargic. It’s okay – enter hormones, blood sugars, and chores to do.

But mid-morning on this bleh-sort-of-day, God whispered to me of beauty. On my way to the bathroom counter to grab a hair tie and stick this mess of curls up in a bun, He said to me, “Look up.” There, in the mirror, I caught a glimpse of my reflection, in all my free-flying, messy curl, mascara-free, blonde eyelashes, freckles beyond number glory, wearing jeans and a T with a tear near the hem. A bit sloppy. The comfy feeling of being relaxed in my space. But nothing glamorous, to be sure.

Look up.

“Embrace the messy curls today,” He whispered to me.  “See the blue in the iris. Don’t long for the black in the lash. There’s beauty here. Now.”

There’s beauty here. Now.

Usually I hide my curls with the flat iron. Hair is easier to deal with that way. Easier to control. Usually I apply mascara to point out that, yes, I do in fact have eyelashes. I know they’re virtually invisible. I know I look like every European Renaissance portrait ever painted with the people of the invisible lashes. (Yes, those are my people.)

Sometimes the struggle is simple practicality. Sometimes it’s about fitting in. Sometimes it’s about fulfilling a sense of a perceived standard of beauty. But the struggle is there.

What struggle do you face when you face the mirror? It’s so easy to gloss over our feelings there because it seems so vain, surely not nearly as important as the “spiritual” issues of life. But God created us in bodies, which are our vessels for living out these lives of ours. 

Not only did He create these bodies, but He created us in His image, after His likeness (Genesis 1:26-27).

And, even more, He is the Author and Creator of this substance called beauty. Beyond all the flowers and trees and clouds and waves He created a beauty that is eternal – humanity. And there is a special sort of beauty in the broken, the raw, the unveiled, the vulnerable, the tender, the wrinkled. 

Am I tossing out my flat iron or my mascara? Nope. I enjoy those. Maybe you enjoy your flair for fashion or your tattoo or your lip color. There are all kinds of creative expressions. And I am not here to demonize those. I, too, have fun getting creative with the clothes I have, glancing at my tattooed wrist, or trying on a new color. Yes, enjoy. Yes, create. But, may we not hide. May we not hide the beauty that has always been there.

May we embrace the beauty He has placed within us as well as on us as we live surrendered to Christ, reflecting God’s image to the world.

Here’s to the messy curls, the invisible lashes, the freckles in great supply. Here’s to the real.

In case you need to hear it today – You are beautiful. And you are beauty. All because He is Beauty.