(June 22, 2020)

From Ruth 1:4
“…the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth.”

There are many, many people in the Bible, yet have you ever noticed that little to nothing is said about people’s appearances? We tend not to know anyone’s eye color, build, height, and so on. When physical attributes are mentioned, either they tend to be directly relevant to the story, such as Absalom’s thick hair, or the fact that Ehud was left-handed – or, they are mentioned to explain someone’s spiritual state, such as when Moses’ eye did not grow dim, or Eli’s obesity.
So why is it that we judge – and are judged – by our appearance all the time? What we wear; our hairstyle; our wrinkles; you name it. Why do we put such pressure on body image? God doesn’t.

* * *

How many times this past week have you looked in the mirror and put yourself down? The refrain running through your head is the same: “You are too fat”. “You are not pretty enough.” Or, “you should be doing a better time taking care of yourself”… I have never met someone who would not change something about their body if they could. Taller, thinner, better this, stronger that – you name it.

The underlying lie says your worth is directly tied to your physical beauty. The lie is so pervasive that it doesn’t always get called out because we are so used to it. Our culture especially put pressure on women (and young women) with relentless images of beauty. And all this judgment based on physical appearance can wound.

* * *

Whatever our struggle may or may not be we need to ask again and again: May we see ourselves as God sees us. And, may we see others through the eyes of Jesus. Remember the truth: that you are made in God’s image. That you are so precious that Jesus died for you. That if you are a disciple of Christ, then you are looking more and more like Jesus with every passing year. And that is true beauty.

Father, help us write down and put words to how You see us, so that we may take it with us.
May we see with the eyes of Christ. Amen.