This morning, I was, as usual, struggling with the many flaws I found with my body. Tired, peeved and incredibly irritated by the constant barrage of self-doubt I stood from my desk and walked to my window. Petrified by the weedy state of my garden I closed my eyes, longing to escape thoughts of judgment and the endless list of “to-do’s”.
“Lord, what is beauty to you?”
Almost as soon as I had asked the question, His warmth invaded the space as He entered the doorway. He walked across the room and stood behind me, put His large hand on my shoulder and stood with me. We stayed in silence for a few moments before He spoke. His voice, deep and soothing. My nerves started to slowly relax and wind down.
“What do you think of the rose Katie?”
“Roses are beautiful Yeshua… but, I mean. No offense but…” I opened my eyes to the nasty condition of the garden that lay just beyond.
“I’m kind of sick of the rose metaphor. How can I apply that to daily life? I’m obviously not a rose, I’m human. I mean, I could wear a costume around all the time and spritz myself with that flowery stuff from Bath and Body but I don’t think that would work. And yeah, people judge other people based on what they look like. All I’ve wanted, for the longest time, is to be liked and accepted by people. Is that too much to ask?”
He paused, waiting for me to be ready to listen. “Everything uniquely, Katie bug.”
The radiance of His smile exploded against the walls. His hand stayed on my shoulder, grounding me.
“Yeshua, what does that even mean?”
“Trust me, just close your eyes my girl.”
I squeezed them closed.As I fought the temptation to drown my sorrows on Facebook a new garden came into sight. Planted in that garden, in the richest soil I had ever seen was a rose, vibrant red, stunning and blooming. Its fragrance filled the air. To the right of the rose was a raspberry bush, green and lush with ripe fruit hanging from its twiggy branches. To the left of the bush was a daisy, bright and yellow as the sun. Up the flower bed just a little further was an orchid, purple, vivacious and striking. Further into the grass and away from the bed were bleedings hearts, pink and red marble drops dripping from their green conical homes. Evergreen trees, stood tall above us on all sides. The forever protectors of all those who lived underneath their sturdy shadow.
“Yeshua, it’s beautiful here.”
“Yes, everything is beautiful uniquely.”
“I suppose, but don’t you mean “uniquely beautiful?”’
He grinned and donned a look of excitement that I knew so well. He swept his hand across the flower bed.
“Each flower is beautiful in its unique state, you see. When I see the beauty of a person, I see the unique attributes I have placed in them. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities. I see all of it and I love all of it. I want, so badly, to show my people how to accept themselves as I have made them. I want them to then come to me and learn to cultivate that beautiful uniqueness I have planted in them.”
The joy in his eyes was now misted by tears, “Katie-bug, all you need to do is ask me what I see when I look at you. You would be overwhelmed.”
I nodded as my own eyes welled with tears.
He took my hand and stared at the sky. “Just look up!”
I lifted my gaze. A slit in the blue had opened and widened as we watched. Just as a long-anticipated grand opening, the veil quickly slide open to reveal majesty. There, waiting on the velvet canvas were billions upon billions of stars, the moon the sun in all its splendor. Galaxies woven into colourful tapestries of royal purple, gold and black danced. Stars sang. Colorful meteorites twisted and turned before exploding into fireworks of carnelian, jasper and ruby. Chills ran down my spine. My knees grew weak. I grabbed onto his arm and looked up at Him.
When Yeshua’s hazel eyes looked at me, they were filled with light, joy, peace. Heat poured through my heart and into my stomach. My knees started to collapse. The strength of His arm was the only thing keeping me from falling.
“My girl! Katie! Everything I have placed in you is infinitely more beautiful than what you are seeing right now. Infinitely!” He winked at me and lifted me by my elbows. As He did, strength returned to my shaking legs.
“Now, to answer your question with more than a rose. every person is unique. Each carries a certain type of beauty that the person next to them does not carry. I don’t look at aesthetics. I am much deeper than the world. I think in a way that people haven’t tapped into in regular practice. When you spend time with Me, the One who created you, uniquely you, you learn more about the beauty you hold. My girl.”
The veil remains open as He gently plucked a rose from the dirt and handed it to me.
“You wouldn’t hurt this rose, would you?”
“No! Of course not.”
He released my hand and lay the flower in it. “You need to stop hurting yourself with the words you speak and believe about yourself. When I look at you Katie, I do not see ugly. I see nothing lacking. I see perfection. In every child of mine, I see it. They are beautifully unique to me Katie. Show everyone how valued they are Katie. Show them what I see in them. Call out the truth in those who have been deceived by the enemy. I want them to hear this truth so badly.”
I nodded my head and tucked the rose close to my heart. He stepped closer to me and tenderly wiped my tears with his thumbs.
“I will keep fighting for you, my girl. I will never give up, even when you don’t see things as they are. I love you more than you could ever imagine.”
“And I love you Yeshua, so so much.”
We stood there together for some time before I opened my eyes. The warmth remained. The galaxies and fireworks stayed etched in the darkest corners of my mind. When the dark thoughts try to invade I will show them back and speak the truth, “I am beautifully unique. Loved by the Creator of the Universe. Lies hold no power over me because I, just as the rose, am forever protected in the shadow of my Savior.”
Now when the dark thoughts try to invade I will shove them back, break patterns that have controlled my mind for decades, and speak the powerful truth I now hold dear to my heart.
“I am beautifully unique. Loved by the Creator of the Universe. Lies hold no power over me because I, just as the rose, am forever protected in the shadow of my Savior.”