Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Who’s the fairest of them all?
This familiar prose spoken by Snow White’s wicked stepmother is something women are all too familiar with. We ask ourselves this question over and over again as we wonder if we’re good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough.
I for one am sick of it. I’m sick of comparing myself to other’s standards because that’s what the world says I should do. I’m sick of the women, teens and even little girls I’m surrounded by struggling constantly, feeling hopeless to attain the perfect standard our society has set before us.
When we look back over the decades and even centuries, we see beauty defined much differently than we do today. A century or two ago you were considered poor and undesirable if you were too thin. Now it’s all the rage. We walk by mirrors in department stores and are afraid to look at ourselves. We’re afraid we may not like what we see. But we look anyway and then are disappointed in the woman staring back at us.
It makes me want to cry. We are enough. Christ designed each of us uniquely for a specific purpose. We aren’t supposed to look like clones. We are each beautiful in our own right and especially in God’s sight. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Fearfully can be translated with heart- felt intensity or great reverence. I can’t help but wonder if that’s from God’s point of view. I believe He feels heart-felt intensity as He creates each one of us. Wonderfully means unique, set apart or uniquely marvelous.
How awesome is that? When God looks at us He doesn’t compare us to others. He knows He created us to look the way we do for a reason. It’s not just by happenstance that some girls seem to get all of the “good genes” while others feel they fall woefully short. None of us fall short. We are ALL beautiful no matter if we’re fat or skinny, have acne, stringy or frizzy hair, big thighs or big feet. God’s word does not say we are perfect, it says we are wonderful. And this side of heaven we can’t hope to attain more than that. I don’t know about you, but having someone call me wonderful sounds pretty great to me. I’ll take it, especially when it comes from my Creator.
One thing we cannot know as we look at the seemingly perfect people is how they feel inside. They may look like they have it all on the outside, smiling and beautiful. But they also may be dying on the inside. They may think they don’t measure up or that others won’t love them if they stop trying to be perfect. The old adage is true, you cannot judge a book by it’s cover. As the younger generation says – don’t be hatin’- because you have no idea what they’re dealing with every day. Love everyone. After all, that’s what our Heavenly Father asks us to do.
I want to end with a story I heard years ago. I believe it’s true, but can’t confirm it.
There once was a little girl who had brown eyes. She always wished she had been born with blue eyes. It wasn’t just a passing thought because she thought about it frequently wondering why so many other girls were blessed with beautiful blue eyes while she was stuck with plain brown eyes.
Years later she became a missionary among a people who had predominantly brown eyes. She found these people welcomed and trusted her because of her brown eyes. A blue-eyed missionary would have brought suspicion among them. She was then grateful God had blessed her with brown eyes so she could share Christ’s love with them.
We may never know this side of heaven why we are made the way we are, but we should ask God for the ability to trust Him and continually look for His unique purpose for us.
So, the next time you walk by one of those mirrors in a department store (or even in your home for that matter) try saying, “Thank you, God, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am your beautiful masterpiece.” Because you are.
For we are God’s workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:10