Saturday, September 16, 2017

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I can easily guess your response looking at my above photo .. "what in the world is that!!"

But if anyone dares to describe the little ornaments as ugly or worthless or anything 'less-than', my emotions will rise in defense,  resenting any criticism.

Why ?   Because to me the above little ornaments are beautiful with treasured value.
When my two  granddaughters were  toddlers, both under 3,  my daughter asked them if they wanted to make  something for me for my birthday.  Oh yes, they did.
She gave them a box of paint and brushes and  two little figurines to paint.
My daughter told me they sat for over an hour painstakingly, patiently painting brush stroke after brushstroke, intent on making their work perfect for their Nanna.  I will never forget the eager little faces when they so proudly gave me their gifts.
My heart melted - how I still treasure the little ornaments, and in 'my eyes'  the beauty is unsurpassed!

Often when I look at the little figurines, I wonder if God doesn't feel the same as I do.
When He looks at you and me, does He see us as worthless?  Does He see the flawed, imperfect brush strokes with which we have painted our lives?
Does He look at the 'gifts' of service we give Him and see them as so much 'less' than what He could so easily do better without us?
Or, do His emotions quickly rise up against anyone who would speak against us?   Does He see us as beautiful beyond description and are our humble offerings to Him precious because we are clothed with our faith/trust in Him?  Does He value what we offer Him as 'beautiful' , even when in human eyes it looks worthless, just because we are so loved and treasured in His sight?

" ....  the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes" I Peter 1:7

 "Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."  I Peter 3:4

"So shall the King greatly desire your beauty, for He is the Lord, worship him !" Psalm 45:11

The ultimate, unfathomable truth is expressed by Jesus Himself -- that the Father loves you and me as much as He loves Jesus !
John 17:20,23

Next time you look into the mirror,  or look into your heart, and feel despondent or discouraged at the 'little' you have offered to God, remind yourself of how God sees you and how He values what you give Him in response to His love for you.
If God delights in you and values your 'gifts' to Him,  does it matter so much what others think?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What's Wrong With This Picture

We recently stopped for lunch at a very popular Bistro called Bliss in Peachland.  They  have excellent  "made from scratch" soup, bread, desserts so I  recommend them as a good place to have lunch in you are in the area.

I ordered a bowl of soup - gluten free -  and a cup of coffee.  When my husband, with a smirk on his face, carried the tray with our order to our table and placed my soup and coffee in front of me,  I had to burst out laughing !
Something was wrong with the picture!!
The cup and the bowel were just NOT in proper balance regarding relative size!

I thought about this.  I thought about how we all adhere to a certain standard.  We expect things to be in balance. We are far more reluctant to move from what has been established as the rightful  'norm' than we would think.  We don't really think about it, until something jars our senses and alerts us to note that something is out of balance.

Regarding the size imbalance of my soup bowl and coffee cup, it was something that tickled my sense of humor, but it did no harm - it caused no inconvenience.

But sometimes things out of balance do hurt.
When  monthly expenses exceed  income.
When time runs out before I can meet a deadline or keep an appointment.
When there are more people than food to feed them.
When my fatigue is greater than strength needed to complete a task.
When I have miles to go and no gas in the tank.

But then my thoughts lifted to a higher realm.
Does God look down on me and see an imbalance in the cup and bowl of my life?

Does my bowl of God-time look much smaller than my cup of me-time?
Does my bowl of faith shrink in size when compared to my cup of anxious worry?
Is my bowl of forgiveness much smaller than my cup of harbored grudges?
Is my bowl of unselfishness out sized by my cup of selfish me-focus?
Is my bowl of love overshadowed by my cup of fear?
Is my bowl of generosity much smaller than my cup of greed?
Is my bowl of trust in God's truth insignificant in relation to the size of my cup filled with the world's  standards of right and wrong?

my prayer - "Dear Father, forgive me for where I have allowed  my cup and bowl to be out of balance, where I am more filled up with myself than with you.  Forgive me where I have not been careful to make the things of the Kingdom bigger than the things of this world.  Jar my senses, Lord .. show me the imbalances in my life and teach me to be pleasing in  your sight. I turn my eyes up to you, desiring that as I look I will reflect your love in my life. In Jesus' precious name, amen."