Ugly

ugly 2rb

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

Read: 2 Kings 1:1 – 2:25, Acts 13:42 – 14:7, Psalm 139:1-24, Proverbs 17:19-21

Relate: I have read a Arthurian novel series that contained a Welsh character named Llewellyn One-Eye. Llewellyn is ugly. I am not saying ugly like he has a few warts on his face or that he isn’t the first second or third choice of any woman when he walks into a bar. I am talking more like the bad half of Harvey Dent’s face except on both sides.

Llewellyn wasn’t born that way. When he was about ten years old he had been apprenticing to a blacksmith. This smith wasn’t necessarily the best of role models and was working one day a bit less than sober. In a drunken careless moment, he ended up splashing molten metal on his apprentice’s face. The accident should have killed the boy but an immediate dunk of his face into the cooling bucket ended up barely saving his life. The problem is, it also hardened the metal to his skin which now had to be surgically removed. You can imagine the scarring and disfigurement an operation like that being performed in fifth century Britain would have left behind.

The thing is, despite the horrific ugliness of his burned and scarred face, Llewellyn One-Eye is a good man. He isn’t the most talkative of people and his does lack a bit in the social graces, but he has a good heart. He is fiercely loyal. He has found a woman who can see beyond the physical exterior and he is an excellent husband, father, and friend.

React: Llewellyn wasn’t created ugly. He was made that way by others. You could blame it on a chance accident or another’s negligence/stupidity/cruelty. I could imagine the rest of his boyhood would not have been very fun. Had he allowed it, the cruelty and ignorance of others could have turned him just as ugly on the inside as their actions did to his outside. Had he chosen to, he could have blamed God for his ugliness with far more justification than many who have done so in real life.

Everything God creates is good. The problem is, what God creates, people disfigure. Every single time I sin, I am marring the beauty God has created. Sometimes that disfigurement only happens inside my own soul. Other times, like a drunken blacksmith, my sin forever changes the course of someone else’s life.

On the flip side, my life has been impacted by the sin of others. Not everything that is not good in my life is my fault. The sin of others has left its share of scars. One day God will set everything right. That day has not yet come. So my choice is to either trust that He who makes all things good can also remake all things or to pay forward on to others the ugliness that has been done to me.

Respond: 

God, there are areas in my past and in my memory that desperately need healing. There is hurt and bitterness that You need to operate on and remove from me. There is no way I can do it on my own. There is no way by my own power that I can ever forgive, let alone forget. So I lay it down. I recognize that in giving us free will, sometimes people do things, even to other people, that is very clearly not what You desire. I do not blame you. I do not even blame me. You have made me good and one day, when all this sin and pain has been taken away and every tear wiped from my eyes, You will make all things new. Even me.

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27 thoughts on “Ugly

  1. Only Daddy-God knew how much I needed to be reminded of this, tonight…as I lay down to rest. Thank you. ♡

  2. Thanks for the grace of God that allows the blood of Jesus to cleanse me and allows me to put on the righteousness of Jesus to be pure in His sight. Thanks for sharing this great illustration.

  3. Everything God creates is good. The problem is, what God creates, people disfigure. Every single time I sin, I am marring the beauty God has created. Sometimes that disfigurement only happens inside my own soul. Other times, like a drunken blacksmith, my sin forever changes the course of someone else’s life.

    On the flip side, my life has been impacted by the sin of others. Not everything that is not good in my life is my fault. The sin of others has left its share of scars. One day God will set everything right. That day has not yet come. So my choice is to either trust that He who makes all things good can also remake all things or to pay forward on to others the ugliness that has been done to me….AMEN AMEN AMEN….

  4. God, there are areas in my past and in my memory that desperately need healing. There is hurt and bitterness that You need to operate on and remove from me. There is no way I can do it on my own. There is no way by my own power that I can ever forgive, let alone forget. So I lay it down. I recognize that in giving us free will, sometimes people do things, even to other people, that is very clearly not what You desire. I do not blame you. I do not even blame me. You have made me good and one day, when all this sin and pain has been taken away and every tear wiped from my eyes, You will make all things new. Even me. AMEN AMEN AMEN

  5. I am touched by this, sin is not a personal thing, that if I sinned it will be my responsibility alone because we live in a community and when we sin we affect others. Sometimes I think I can get away with sinning because I think it only involves me, but every time I sin I involve others too. This is a good reminder for me to see that I need God’s help so that I may resist the temptation not only to hurt myself but to hurt others too with my sins. Thanks for this. 🙂

  6. Thanks for a fresh perspective on the closing verses of Psalm 139. I appreciate so much the final words of your prayer:

    “You have made me good and one day, when all this sin and pain has been taken away and every tear wiped from my eyes, You will make all things new. Even me.”

  7. Not only will He, but He has already made us new; and He continues to make us new every day. In order to receive His unreserved mercy, grace and love, we must allow His free gift to envelope and fill us. We must allow our belovedness to become as real to us as it is to our Father.

  8. “The problem is, what God creates, people disfigure. Every single time I sin, I am marring the beauty God has created. Sometimes that disfigurement only happens inside my own soul. Other times, like a drunken blacksmith, my sin forever changes the course of someone else’s life.” Thanks, BJ, for this post. The miracle of grace that covers my sin is reason for me to stay on my knees in praise to my Savior and my God.

  9. That picture you used assaults everything within me, yet I know that our Christ, Jesus the Son, was marred beyond anything or anyone ever because he took on all sin and falling short of the glory that made human beings ugly, no longer the image and likeness of God. But when he resurrected, he resurrected the image and likeness of God in the sons of man so we could come to him and be restored as we rest in him, abide in Christ as he abides in us. He made a way where there was no way to become the image and likeness of God again in Christ, so we honor and glorify God by letting the Holy Spirit wash and regenerate, purify, refine and make our soul white as snow, take counsel, his refined gold instead of the lead of the world, his white garment instead of wearing shame of the world, and become one Spirit with God once again by joining with the Son, yoking, learning, conquering our conditioning from the world, rooting and growing into the Head to become the many-membered Body of Christ! Thank God for Jesus the Christ! We thank, honor, praise, and glorify the Father by letting the Holy Spirit re-form us into the image and likeness of Christ! Thank you Abba! Father! We love you Jesus!!!!!!!

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