(A SEASON OF NEW GROWTH #11)
Monday, June 28th
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
(Psalm 139:13-14 NRSV)
For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Ephesians 2:10 NRSV)
In this past year I have grown to love podcasts! I love the convenience of learning, laughing, or being inspired while I am walking or driving. With the popularity of podcasts increasing, I began to consider offering a podcast of my own, one in which I could talk about my blog post for the day. There only seemed to be one drawback.
I don’t have a gentle, soothing voice, or a lilting, lovely one. Nor do I have a clear, majestic voice, or an elegant, mellow one. My voice has always been a bit raspy at times, and the hoarseness has worsened with age and earlier chemotherapy treatments. My voice is also soft – I cannot yell – and it falls in a vocal range that is especially difficult for those with hearing loss to absorb.
Years ago, I even joined a group that developed public speaking skills. I was soon told that I spoke too nasally, and was advised to open my throat when speaking. Well, this “helpful” suggestion only made me more nervous, and my throat closed up so much that it seemed my nose did most of the talking! And then there is this story: a bemused teen in my youth group once told me that when I spoke, my tongue clicked against my teeth and I sounded like a chipmunk.
And so I write. 😀
(I hope that brought a laugh today…)
Today’s reflection is to Blossom in Beauty, but our invitation is to blossom with our own unique beauty. When I think of this type of blossoming, dear Therese of Lisieux comes to mind. She has been called “The Little Flower” because of her selfless, humble, and truly beautiful way of living:
Therese is most known for her “Little Way.” She spoke not of doing great things, but of small things with great love. She saw herself as a child who lived in complete dependence on God. Therese acknowledged her littleness and believed this showed more clearly God’s greatness. She once said, “If all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would lose its springtime beauty.” Therese saw herself as a tiny flower in the garden of God and believed His power shone more clearly through her weakness.1
When we live as our best selves according to the way God has created us, our beauty may not radiate from the features or abilities we wish we had; yet each of us has been created uniquely and beautifully in God’s eyes. We have been given special gifts and strengths to contribute to the diverse beauty of all creation. We cannot be or do everything, but we can strive to be what God has made us, “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Like Therese, we can trust that the beauty of God’s power will shine through our weakness. We can blossom in the beauty of love alone.
What is your unique way of bringing beauty to God’s world? How might your weakness be a way for God to create a different beauty of God’s making? How will you blossom through the beauty of God’s love in your life?
May we remember that our unique beauty is best revealed when we let God’s beautiful love outshine our imperfections, while we focus on doing those “good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”
Photo by Karen, Hurricane, WV