“Nature is the art of God.” —Dante Alghieri
The Bible study group I belong to is currently diving into the book of Ephesians. This ancient letter has long been a favorite of mine and I’ve been eager to dig a bit deeper into it. As I sat down to study, one verse from our week’s passage stood out to me.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV)
I’ve read this verse a gajillion times since childhood and it’s a good one to be sure, but it wasn’t until I dug into a commentary that something new grabbed hold of me.
I saw a woman wearing a muumuu today. Walking her tiny dog, a drop-kick dog, my husband would call it, she moved gracefully down the sidewalk. Her multicolored, animal print muumuu swayed with her steps and the sight of it brought a smile to my face.
In fact, I smiled all the way home, memories of another lady in a muumuu warming my thoughts. It was a long time ago, early grade school if I recall correctly, when a strange and fascinating woman took charge of our classroom for the day. Our substitute teacher was a large woman, with a pleasant voice, and she wore a shapeless, flowy dress. A muumuu, she called it, and the word rolled off the tongue in a delightful way. It was from Hawaii, she informed us, a gift from her son, and spreading her arms out wide, she made a slow circle so we could admire the colorful raiment from all sides.
Recently a trend was making the rounds on Facebook, a poignant appeal to women, a call to action against the rampant negative body image issues so prevalent in our culture today. The post asked women to share five photographs in which they feel beautiful. I pondered this. I thought of one photograph in which I felt beautiful, but upon pulling it out to look at it, I realized I was mistaken. Shrugging inwardly, I let it go, but the concept kept pulling at me.
I know I have a damaged view of my own worth, of my beauty. Seeing only the outward flaws and carrying the baggage of how others have viewed me in the past renders me almost incapable of sitting for a photo. Knowing I will hate every snapshot, it is only when I absolutely have to that I will concede to be photographed.
The woman who arrested my attention was ancient. Clutching a cigarette in one bird-like claw, she waited to cross the street. The black wig she wore reminded me of one my great-grandmother had worn. Its vibrant color and youthful volume made her head appear two sizes too small. However, it was not the wig or the smoke which had snapped me from my internal musings. What caught my eye was that this woman was a superhero.
Today is the kickoff of a new link-up for Christian bloggers. I hope you’ll come by and visit at Grace and Truth. Meet some new friends. Read some valuable insights. Better yet, add your voice to the mix. See you there!
This is one of the earliest posts on this blog, but it was one of my favorites to write. So in honor of the first day of the Grace and Truth link-up, I am revisiting that terrifying day in my bathroom….
I made a horrifying discovery in my bathroom this morning. It was even more frightening than the House Centipede I happened upon awhile back in this same locale. (Now there’s a critter straight out of a sci-fi nightmare, let me tell you!)
Indeed, I am sure that I shall never be the same after this morning’s revelations.
Her breathing was so shallow, I thought she was dead. Relief washed through me. Then her nose twitched and I felt a pang of guilt. She sighed and heaved herself to a standing position. Lurching like a small, furry drunkard across the cage floor, she settled beside the hanging water bottle. It seemed to take enormous energy; poking her tiny, pink tongue at the metal ball to release a drop of water.
We had seen that Xena, my daughter’s beloved pet rat, was declining. But on this day, it was as if some cosmic vitality switch had been flicked. Her life was at an end, she just didn’t know it yet. For two days we watched her lackluster breathing. Her movements were jerky and frightening. Listless, she looked at us with bulging eyes that bled.
I have issues. Judging by the vast number of articles and blog posts I read, you have issues too. I’ve watched those Dove commercials on self-perception, and I too have cried because I can relate. I’m talking to the ladies here, but you men would do well to keep reading too. If you can’t relate personally, there is definitely a female in your life with…well, issues.
I made a horrifying discovery in my bathroom this morning. It was even more frightening than the House Centipede I happened upon awhile back in this same locale. (Now there’s a critter straight out of a sci-fi nightmare, let me tell you.) Indeed, I am sure that I shall never be the same after this morning’s revelations.
I was bent over, blow drying my hair, when I made the grave error of looking at myself upside down and slightly sideways in the mirror. I was startled to see that the skin around my right eye was sliding toward the floor! I abruptly stood upright again and scrutinized my face.