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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Where Is Beauty?

Where is beauty anyway? This week I've been distressed by some news, two stories in particular have me concerned.
  1. Women & girls are going to lay people in hotel rooms & back alley places to get silicone injections to make themselves have a more "beautiful" body part - you fill in the blank as to which parts _____ . Some are even flying to the USA from across the pond. They are dying from the injections of silicone, which are purchased in hardware stores & drug stores! Silicone is poison for humans. If injected into the buttocks, the large blood vessels can carry it to heart & lungs in minutes & cause death. For most so desparate for "beauty" the best case scenario is disfigurment & pain.
  2. A teen beauty pagent winner is being threatened with loss of her crown because she is now a size 2 & a bit bigger than her pageant clothes.
  3. And remember from a few years back the lady who had multiple surgeries to look like the plastic doll, Barbie.
I'm sure you can think of more examples of the same phenonmenon. Have humans collectively gone mad?

In my opinion the problem lies in several laps.
  • First, we have many, particularly women, with low self-image, poor self-love, the need to look gorgeous on the outside because they feel so inferior on the inside.
  • Then there is the need to look young because society doesn't see the beauty in aging women. There is little honor given to our elders, to their wisdom, to their experiences, & yes to those sags & wrinkles that stand for a life lived.
  • Also, we have seen a decline in church attendance coupled with an increase in shallow movies, tv & music, & an increase in immorality - an everything goes mentality. The deep spiritual values seeded in the hearts of the young are not being seeded in the majority of instances. Sunday morning is no longer reserved for church, because so many churches have become irrelevant. Sunday mornings are reserved for other things deemed more important than growing spiritually & being part of the community of Christ -- the Sunday paper, sporting events, personal sports such as skiing or basketball, sleeping in, etc., etc., etc.
With the coarsening of society, true beauty is lost. It is not in silicone injections so that one's body has a round behind. It is not being a size 0. It is not in anything exterior at all.

I suggest that beauty is inside. It is an inner glow that turns into a radiance in people who are devoted to a spiritual journey. A person with such a glow is beautiful, no matter what the details of the outer form shape up to be or not be. With rampant neglect to the spiritual journey, we forget what beauty really is, & we seek polyester beauty. No matter how wrinkle resistant polyester is, it can never be silk. No matter how much we do to the outside, we can only achieve radiance & true beauty by devotion to the spiritual journey.

Lord, help me develop inner beauty. Lead me to where You would have me be. Surround me with people who can take my hand & lead me into a deeper walk with YOU. Help me release that which is shallow in me. Help me embrace inner beauty in myself & in others.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


God is our Creator. We are said to be made in the image of God. For me at least, I feel that a huge part of my nature is creativity. In fact, I feel a NEED to create and have felt this all of my life.

I do not limit the areas of my creativity. I create in writing, sewing, quilting, designing, painting, cooking, speaking, etc. A day does not feel complete for me if I do not create something new, at least new to me.

I have come to believe that creativity is a call from my soul so that I express the energy of God through my life. Being creator in a small way, with a small "c", is an urge planted in our souls as an echo of our Creator. In many tiny ways our Creator expresses through us and our creativity - at least through the things we create that glorify God.

For some people, the urge to create gets perverted and they create mayhem and ugliness. What they create does not glorify God. It glorifies their ego and their ability to stray from God's magnificence.

So, I need to qualify the urge of creativity. Our call is to use it for good, to use it for God.

Dear God, oh how we need You. We need You in every area of our lives. As we look at our lives and at the world, we see that we all need You to guide our vast creative energy in a positive way, in a way that glorifies You. Heal in us any corner of darkness that desires creativity that leads away from You. Lead us to create in our individual lives and in the world only that which is reflective of Your Light and Love. We ask for Christ to lead us. We ask this in His name as we seal this with faith, Amen, Amen and Amen.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


This morning I was pondering the phenomenon of bias & circumstantial "evidence."

When a person makes life-altering decisions based on circumstantial "evidence" & refuses to hear any ideas to the contrary, what seems to me to be revealed are already held biases, perhaps deep in the subconscious. The person selects from the array of things on the table only those that uphold the deep seated biases.

It is sad at so many levels. The person making the bias-driven decision cuts off some part of his/her life that could be wonderful, or it could be awful if the bias is born out to be related to fact. One interesting thing is that the decision based on bias rarely offers the opportunity to revisit it all cleanly, without bias, so the person may never know what is actually going on. Those people & options that are cut off suffer in varying degree. If those cut off do not want to be cut off, they suffer to the degree they want to stay. If they don't care, they can easily brush it off & walk off into a more welcoming place.

In my life, I have had some of these situations occur. I am not quite sure why. My dear husband says it is because of the light emanating from my connection to God which triggers & stirs up the darkness in some people. I don't know, but I do know I've experienced such events way more than anyone else I know.

At one level it is interesting, a study in human interactions & choices. At another, it is hurtful, the more there is originally a feeling of love & connection, the more hurtful. It is perplexing, difficult, challenging, etc. You name it.

Part of the hurt is the recognition that the person has this negative bias against you which leads the hostile decisions, false accusations & shunning behavior. It does not seem possible to argue facts against a strong underlying bias. One cannot get into the other's subconscious mind in normal relationship. That is, you cannot just go around hypnotizing others to change their subconscious.

So, what to do? My choice is to turn to God. I believe there are lessons & opportunities in every moment, in every experience - however positive or negative they may be. I may not see them right now, not even for a long time, but they are there. If I truly believe God is always present, then I have to know that even in this, God is present.

My beloved Father, my Friend, my constant Companion, my Guide, my Inspiration - lead me to know You in every moment & every situation. Show me how You would have me deal with even the darkest & deepest of challenges. Help me always remember that my life is about You & shining Your Light the best I can. So I see that in dark valleys, Your Light is most needed. Give each of us the courage to shine, no matter where we find ourselves. Help us light up those dark valleys through which we all trod here on earth. I see now that is why we sometimes are in such a place, for You trust us to shine Your Light so that the valley is no longer without light. Help me keep this truth close to my heart. I ask this in the name of Christ & seal it with the ancient seal of faith, Amen, Amen & Amen