Sunday, October 6, 2013

Why Photoshop Exists

This world is full of ugly people. Twisted noses, misaligned eyebrows, thin lips, crooked teeth. Too fat, too skinny, too pear-shaped, too stocky. Stubby legs, toes going in the wrong directions, knees too far apart, knees too close. Muffin tops and cankles. Terrible fashion and too much makeup. Man hands on girls, bulging knuckles, brittle nails. Necks too long and ears too big.

Even celebrities haven't got "the look." Even on their best day in a studio filled with people trained to make their hair fall just the right way, give them smokey eyes, and give them a body to die for, they are still thousands of clicks away from being "beautiful." Even all of the industry's illusions and tricks used to make them look perfect for the camera don't let them escape from the ever-present Shopping of their Photos after they've been snapped.

"...He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him." (Isaiah 53)
The Creator. He who knows the perfect combination of features to make a man look... well... like a god. It is this God who chose to make Himself look... fairly average. And average is ugly. Or perhaps not. Perhaps average is only truly ugly when we insist on finding the details of ourselves that don't fit into what's accepted as "beautiful." Keep in mind, the same people who've constructed this standard can't fit into it themselves. They fight and struggle to have the right genes fit, but they never will. This is why Photoshop exists.

It's a good thing being ugly has nothing to do with how you look.

This world is full of ugly people. Twisted souls, misaligned intentions, thinly veiled motives, crooked desires. Too mean, too angry, too fake, too broken. Stubby hearts, running in the wrong directions, loving too far apart, hating too close. Topped with pride and arrogance. Terribly fashioned and too much greed. Man handling girls, bleeding wrists, bloody razors. Pointed fingers too long and false beliefs of innocence too big.

We're not ugly because of all the ways we don't measure up to the physical standard imposed on us by our culture. We are ugly because our souls need some serious beauty tips. But try as we might to do it on our own, we seem to be failing. This is why the only beautiful soul that ever existed died - that He might give us the beauty we've been trying to acquire through the fractionally-as-important system of physical attraction.

So today, maybe even just for a moment, stop thinking about what others see when you walk out the door, and start thinking about what they would see if they really, really knew you. Past the makeup and imperfections. Past the muscles and posing.

I was told once to picture all of the things that I considered to be part of my identity. So I considered the clothing I wear, the sports I play, the blogs I write, the messages I give, the friends I have. Then, I was asked to picture myself without all of that.

That, my friends, is the guy Jesus loves. Without all of the extra. Without all of the cover up. Without all the things we used to distract others from seeing who we really are.

That's who Jesus loves.


"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

I have been wondering what life would be like if we didn't need the "Approval of Others". It's been said that this is one of 3 essential things people need/desire. And I realized that the entire world revolves around this! Jobs, clothes, food, friends, church, music, education, art, architecture, etc. How much have we.. have I been concerned/fueled by what my Lord thinks??? I haven't ruled this basic characteristic out as sin. I think God designed us to interact with the need for approval. I think it's a part of how we were designed.

Just something I've been pondering over and over for the last week.

In one of my classes, my professor spoke about this very concept, delineating the difference between dependence and independence.

He said that we were made for neither of these. We were made for INTERdependence. Part of who are is this idea that we need each other. Now, that is quite a different concept than needing each other's approval.

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