The strength of the wrought-iron gate beckoned him once more to sit in the heat of the afternoon sun. It wasn’t a place of comfort, it was a place of shame and familiarity; a lifestyle that had become him. His friends daily brought his crippled body to the gate so he could beg the people that passed by him on their way to pray at the temple.
The crippled man fumbled as he opened up his dirty rice sack used as a mat, and squinted into the glaring sun. A sweat bead began to trickle down to his dirty brow.
Little did the crippled man know that the Apostle Peter and a couple other disciples were about to pass him by. Little did he know that the gate he had sat by day in and day out was called Beautiful. Little did he know that in his brokenness and imperfection he had been right beside beauty the whole time. (taken from Acts 3).
Beautiful Gate was the entrance to the temple where every day at 3pm people went to pray. The crippled man cried out to be acknowledged, shown mercy. Yet every day, he sat at their feet as they wandered by – unchanged.
How often do we walk right by pain and totally miss the beautiful sitting right beside it?
Deeper yet, how often do we sit in the pain of change or God revealing reality of what’s in our heart and we ignore the beauty of that revealing?
Our society is consumed with fixing. And I’ll admit it has worn off on me too.
Since I was 12 years old I’ve had bad skin. I’ve tried almost everything under the sun to fix or cover and it perpetuated a lifestyle of trying to fix what I perceived as wrong, or imperfect.
Here ye, here ye, can anyone relate?
Below is a picture of me. Well, two. One with hair and make-up and a handy-dandy photo filter (on my way to a friend’s wedding and sent immediately to my boyfriend 😉 ) And the other is just me. T-shirt, no hair styled, no make-up, in glasses, but in the same spot of my bedroom.
Which do you think made it online?
I want to release you of any notion that I, or anyone you see online or anywhere else, is perfect. Models are photoshopped. Your friends post only the best lighting, wardrobe and make-up. And no one sees the backstage work, hurt, pain and peace that EVERYONE goes through.
I know am not the only one who has felt like the ideal in my mind never matched my reality, and somehow felt like I fell short.
Trust me, I’m preaching to the choir. I am flailing my purple-robed arms in need of my Jesus to save me. Daily. Trust me.
Perceptions and keeping up with a perceived image (whether in your own mind or media’s), will enslave you.
What measuring stick are you using for beauty?
Someone whom you’ve never met, don’t like, and would never want to be like…? Really?
I am learning that even when something isn’t how I totally want it to be, I can still find beauty. I just have to give it a new name. And pick up my mat and walk.
So look around you, your imperfect could be sitting right next to beautiful.