I just got back from taking the 3rd cat to the vet. None of these cats are declawed. And none of them like to go in the cat carrier. It was quite a struggle. Ouch.
Not only are the scratches painful, but they are ugly, too. Yes, I am that vain. Sorry. I look forward to summertime tanning of my skin. Such things as scratches and scars become less noticeable against a darker background.
Darkness covers so many flaws. I guess that's why we all strive for it these days. (Tanner skin, anyway.) And it seems I have so many flaws to hide! I've given up on my knees. Softball scars there are bound for permanence.
But we aren't talking knees today. Few people go looking at knees. (And if they do, I would steer clear of them.) When you first meet someone, they probably - hopefully - notice you from the neck up. But what is the next thing you do? Shake hands. And you don't often look at those hands, but you feel them, which could lead to looking. It is never inappropriate to look at someone's hands, I think.
What would you see if you looked at my hands? Go ahead. Those are my hands in the picture, and I give you permission to look (though you might not be able to get a good analysis from this poor shot.) This is what might stick out:
But what is prominent in the picture? What is the first thing your eyes go to?
Hopefully, it's my wedding rings. That's the way I would hope it would be.
Don't look at how my skin has been pulled apart and torn by others when I tried to force my way on them. Don't look at my coarse attempts to fight off what inevitably comes through the door with children in the winter. Don't look at my failed effort to cover nature with cosmetics. And please don't look at how far I am aging. Instead, look at the truly natural, beautiful, sparkly thing of great value in the center of it all.
It wasn't my husband's ambition when he proposed to me to hide the ugliness of my hands. Neither was it his goal to mark me as his. (Though he was successful at both.) I think what he wanted to do was give me all he could to show me that he would love me as long as that ring lasts. And as you know, it is pretty much impossible to destroy a diamond. So, he was talking about forever.
Interesting. I have an analogy.
There's another ring that surrounds my life, with brilliance in the center of it all. And He was given to me by Someone else with all the love He had.
When God looks at me now, He doesn't see how my life has been torn up by insisting on my wills and desires. He doesn't see how I fail sometimes at washing away the sin in my life, and how repeated attempts at doing so are wearing me down. He doesn't see how I try to do good and beautiful works to make myself appear holier than I really am. And He doesn't see how far my body is aging, because to die is the gain of our ultimate togetherness.
It's still there, the ugliness in my life. But He doesn't see it for shining, perfect brilliance of my Rock. Even though He knows it's all there, in love, He chooses to overlook it and see Something Else. He sees the perfect and beautiful Christ that I have accepted in my life.
Nothing the Father could have given me has more value than His Son. I am as honored to accept that Gift from Him as a fiancee receiving her engagement ring. And I think when He looks at Christ in my life, He couldn't be more pleased to call me His.
So go ahead and look at my hands. Call them ugly, call them beautiful. Whatever, I don't care. They are covered with the value I could never achieve on my own. And they belong to Him.
Passion Under Grace,