Her Eyes see an Ugly Image!
Leola spent one hour in the bathroom, primping and covering, to be ready for work only to walk by a mirror to see what ugly looks like. She sighed and continued on her way to work. As she was driving she is careened back to grade school where she first learned she was ugly. She was one of the only red heads in the whole building. Why did red hair and freckles make a person ugly? Her lazy eye didn’t help either! She didn’t make that decision, someone made it for her and she accepted it based on their opinion. Someone decided she was different and that difference in their opinion was ugly. To be cross eyed with red hair and freckles was a deadly combination to be born with according to that person. Her brain runs over all the words people used to drive her to the conclusion she was ugly. Up until those days she never thought about it one way or the other. She looked in the rear view mirror of her van and sighed. “If I was beautiful no one would take me seriously on my job anyway,” she thought. As a leader in a male dominated field she was comfortable with being ugly.
In spite of her apparent ugliness she had accumulated a few friends in grade school but they lived on the other side of the tracks. They were headed to a different high school together while she alone would go to high school in Belle River, Ontario. She was devastated by this continued slight against her. How in heavens name would she make friends in a new town in a new school? She decided she just wouldn’t go to school so the skipping began. Every class she felt insecure in she wouldn’t go. She hated the school and its pretense but more so she hated her image. The people were beautiful and wealthy. She was ugly and low end middle class. The complete opposite of them and they had no issue reminding her of that fact. Why can’t she hide away somewhere to never be seen by anyone ever again? Sometimes she thought they sought her out just to fulfill their own fantasy of degrading people. Leola even stooped down to bully a girl much more beautiful than her to see what it was like. The act horrified her so much she never did it again and actually apologized to the girl for her bad behaviour. No matter how Leola felt, deliberately demeaning someone was something God never allowed her to get away with. She did not know Jesus during this time but He was working His plan in her life even then.
I spent a lot of my childhood emulating ‘the beautiful’ to be accepted, except it didn’t work. I was called on it constantly. A girl I admired in grade school told me to stop dressing like her to my horror. In high school Farrah Faucet was big so I styled my hair like hers and got bullied by a set of female twins because of it. I did everything within my power to appear beautiful but all of my work was for not because every time I looked in the mirror my eyes saw an image of ugliness. I eventually learned it wasn’t about the outward adorning it was the inward jargon. I probably spent more than one hundred thousand dollars on apparel to my financial peril. I believed my image was ugly from the inside consequently no matter how I changed my outside appearance it would never change how my eyes saw my image. That vision of my image became deeply rooted in me for many years. When I became a Christian I wrestled with the fact God had created me in His image which is not ugly. It would be many years before He was able to convince me I was made in His image and when I called myself ugly I was calling His created image ugly. The concept of that is far reaching and perfectly planned just for me and just for you!
Her Eyes see His Image!
Leola had to become invisible at school so no one would notice she was skipping classes and invisible at home to get away with it. In one hand she wanted to be invisible but in the other hand she wanted someone to see her as beautiful. Was that too much to ask? Not with our Jesus Christ it wasn’t! Jesus Christ had a plan for her and He was going to bring her too it. He gifted her to do things to make her visible even in her ugliness and she worked hard to look beautiful for the masses. It was still very important to be accepted by people to be successful at her calling. Jesus would deal with that too although not in the eyes of people but in His. Leola did not know she was still harbouring the feeling she was ugly to God therefore invisible to Him. How could God look upon her! She was learning her fear of being invisible is tied directly to her view of her image. If God couldn’t look upon her because of her ugliness than she was surely invisible to Him. Leola saw her image completely different than Jesus Christ saw her. He gave her His eyes, little by little, thus she would see she looks just like Him. She began seeing Jesus in the mirror every day and her image began to change until one day she looked in the mirror to see His creation in her image. Her tired old feelings are gone today and she is free to see God’s ‘very good’ creation in her image. She is also free to see His image in all women even when they don’t!
We are created in His image but that is a hard concept to realize when ugly is the image we see in the mirror. Peter tells us our beauty should not come from merely outward adornment because the mere adornment we use changes every single day. God created mankind in His own image both male and female. If we believe what God says eventually our soul will agree with Psalm 139:14 in that we are fearfully and wonderful made and praise God just for this alone. Women are made to feel but we need to feel what God tells us to feel otherwise we could spend our lives a slave to what other people feel. When Jesus Christ comes into our vision He forces us to see what He sees and feel what He feels! We transform from ugly to beautiful without changing our outward appearance at all. Let Jesus have His way in you so you see ‘you’ the way He sees you because beauty is NOT in the eyes of the beholder it is in the eyes of Jesus Christ!
Mediation Verses: 1 Peter 3:3-4; Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:14