Originally published 1/12/2013
“Take my picture, Mommy! Take my picture!”
And I clicked the camera.
I don’t ever remember being this way, so eager to say, “Cheese.” I’ve always been the one declining photos, offering to hold the camera, tossing into the trash any pictures of me I don’t like.
But when I’m out and about with my daughters (or even just running around the house frantically trying to get four females ready for Sunday morning church service)… they want to stop and take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Not of the scenery. Of them.
It takes us three times as long to walk down the Main Street of our town and probably twice as much time on location on our family “field trips.” But I don’t mind.
I love that they feel beautiful enough to want to pose.
There was a day I stepped into the bathroom to put away a stray toothbrush, and I caught one of my girls watching herself in the mirror. She smoothed her hair and glanced up at her reflection, pleased with what she saw.
How beautiful is the girl who feels beautiful in her own skin.
This rare gift, how do you teach it? How do you help them keep it for life?
Somehow, most of us grow out of it. We glance in the mirror and critique the image or sigh in frustration. We step on the scale and slander ourselves with our thoughts. We pose for that picture and know we won’t be happy with it later, not with the smile or the hair or the wrinkles or the chin or ….
Even my husband, in the early days of falling in love, would sit across me from the table and I could feel him watching. I didn’t know where to look. I was uncomfortable in his gaze. What imperfections would he see in me if he looked too closely or watched too long?
Later today, I’ll take my seat at a piano and offer up the music for a wedding ceremony. There will be a moment at that wedding when the soloist will sing, “How Beautiful the radiant bride who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes” (How Beautiful, Twila Paris).
The beauty of the bride isn’t so much the hairdresser and the hair spray, the makeup, the gown.
It’s that she walks down that aisle feeling loved. In a moment, she knows she is wanted, precious, and she radiates the joy.
And it’s beautiful how she loves him. So we, thinking of another, run out of time to be so self-analyzing, so self-criticizing, so self-condemning—so “self.”
It’s a verse for meditating on all week, with a reminder of how beauty is looking to God–our Groom–thinking of Him and less of me. Beauty is caring for others. Beauty isn’t feeling shame, but feeling redeemed, feeling precious, feeling loved.
“Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5).
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King