Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Unlikely beauty

3:14 p.m. Today's project was to take a rejuvenating day from a busy start of the week. Steve and I went on a number of errands-- bank, post office, bookstore to spend my Valentines gift card, and then massive coupon shopping at Vons after a yummy lunch at their deli. For me, running errands is relaxing, and it's nice for the two of us to get out as a couple. There's a sweet freedom to unstructured activity. And I treasure the time we spend together!

Last night, our Heart to Home ministry, which meets at the same time as Steve's Men's Bible study, presented a jewelry making class that was very well attended. I opened the class with prayer and a brief devotional message, and then joined my Piecemaker friends across the hall for our weekly "stitch-n-gab." At the end of the class, the attendees had made lovely earrings, and were excited to make necklaces next week. How wonderful that we can join in a creative partnership with our Lord to craft objects of beauty!

Yesterday morning, I met Heidi and Pavel at the lovely location they have chosen for their 2011 wedding. We sat with the wedding coordinator and toured the spectacular grounds. I made copious notes in my binder--always the Binder Queen!--and Heidi put down their deposit. I am so glad they have plenty of time to plan, save up their money, and that we can take our time sorting through the vendors for the best prices and value. During the leisurely stroll Pavel led us on, I snapped the photo above of a creature not particularly known for its beauty, but in his lily pad setting, even a bullfrog becomes a looker! Again, a creative partnership with the Lord: He creates, and I merely document His handiwork. "The earth is the LORD's, and all its fulness," Psalm 24:1 says.
There is One, however, whom believers see as the most beautiful, marvelous Person who ever lived, and no one can compare to Him: that is our Lord Jesus Christ! His Name is a fragrant "ointment poured forth" to us (Song of Solomon 1:3); He calls Himself, in Revelation 22:16b, "the Bright and Morning Star;" countless portaits through the centuries portray Jesus with a strikingly handsome face. But when God sent His Son in "the likeness of sinful men," as Romans 8:3 puts it, He was actually quite unremarkable physically. Judas had to kiss Him on the cheek, we are told in Matthew 26:48, so those sent to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane would recognize Him!
However, it is the prophet Isaiah who gives us a most detailed description of Jesus as He performed the most loving act in all of history. Read Isaiah 53:2b, NKJV: "He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." The NLT words it, "There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him." Yet the love He showed, the anointed clarity with which He presented the principles of the Kingdom of God, and His miraculous mercy to the hurting and the lost, drew people by the thousands to Him as He walked this earth.
And I can testify that He has the same effect today, for Romans 2:4 says that it was the goodness of God that led me to repentance. Thank you, Lord Jesus!
Tomorrow: a portrait of the suffering Savior.

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