She twirls in the kitchen, again and again, giggling and laughing while the world stands still. Her lop-sided pigtails bounce around her and her bangs fall into her eyes. I cringe, waiting for the crash, but even though a flash of uncertainty crosses her eyes, she continues the show. She has the complete attention of her father and brothers, and she is in her glory. She revels in it, loves it and lives for it.
She finds a forgotten Christmas present: cherry flavoured Fairy Lip Gloss. With all the precision of a Hollywood make-up artist, she delicately applies it to her lips. And then, with hands on her hips, she assumes a model’s pose and says “Mommy, I am BEAUTIFUL!”.
On a hot summer night, I lay on the grass in an open field. The sky is clear and dark above me and the air is still. But then, from out of nowhere, streaks of white light begin to slowly make their way across half of the sky. They travel upward, disappearing at the pinnacle of the dome of blackness above me. And the light grows in intensity and speed until light is streaking upwards at an incredible speed. It dances its way up from the horizon to the top of the world at a dizzying pace. Over the space of an hour, the sky is alive with white light, and this purposeless beauty amazes me. It is Aurora Borealis, a natural occurrence with a rational, scientific explanation. And yet it has no purpose. There is no Darwinian excuse for this display of complete beauty. It simply is. And with its beauty, it brings glory to its Creator. Through the beauty of His creation, I see the beauty of my Heavenly Father.
And my little girl seeks it as well. She is designed to search out beauty but not with the ultimate goal of pleasing others, or even herself. She is designed to seek out approval and love, but not from her father or brothers or any other man. God has given her the desire for beauty and acceptance for a reason. They are the emptiness that only He can fill. This search should lead to Him, to find beauty in Him and His creation, and to gain acceptance by Him through His Son.
But so often we are sidetracked. We seek acceptance in others, becoming people-pleasers while digging ourselves deeper into destructive relationships. We search for beauty in ourselves, “our own image bleeding us”, while we chase down the Fountain of Youth and throw money at the bloated industry of superficiality.
My daughter needs to know that she is beautiful, but not because of a facade maintained with Fairy Lip Gloss. She is beautiful because she is a child of the King, created in His image and with a portion of His beauty, a beauty that extends to the furthest reaches of her soul, and a beauty that will continue through eternity.
She is accepted and she is loved
by the One who matters most.
And so are You and I.