DayBreaks for 03/26/13 – Short and Beautifully Ugly

DayBreaks for 03/26/13 – Short and Beautifully Ugly                 

concerning-uglinessWe are drawn to beauty!  Whether it is a sunrise or sunset, a flower, a mountain scene or waterfall, we love to see beautiful things. 

Every year some magazines come out with an edition that identifies the “most beautiful” people in the world.  I don’t follow such things, but I believe Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and this year, Beyonce, have been on the list, if not atop the list for their gender.  (The only reason I know about Beyonce is that I looked it up for this DayBreaks!)  There is a saying that “beauty is only skin deep” and there’s a lot of truth to that, but when it comes to ranking the most beautiful people in the world, I don’t believe you’ll see Mother Theresa’s name, or that of Billy Graham, in the list because of the beauty of their souls.  It’s the external that we are fixated on.

Even Jesus, when we see him in movies, is made to look attractive.  Robert Powell in Jesus of Nazareth, cut a rather striking figure, as did Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ.  More often than not the Jesus of the movies has deep blue eyes, neatly kept hair and clothing, and speaks with a proper British accent, has perfectly proportioned features and a well-balance physique.  I suspect that such a representation of Christ is way off base: remember, he was a homeless man without even a pillow and but one set of clothes.

Eugene Peterson, in putting the words of Isaiah 53:1-3 into The Message, put it this way: Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought GOD’s saving power would look like this? 2 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.  He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum.

The second-century Roman writer, Celsus, records that Jesus was “short and ugly”.  If we begin to see Jesus that way, to think of him as short and ugly, perhaps we begin to understand why it was that Jesus seems to have been so drawn to the maimed, the cripples, the blind, the lepers.

Here’s the best part: Jesus saw far deeper than the layer of our epidermis.  He saw into the maimed and tortured souls we carry around hidden inside our “jar of clay” and when he saw the ugliness there, he was moved with compassion.  Though he himself was sinless, he perhaps understood ugliness and beauty far better than we ever have.  He didn’t care that much what people looked like, but he care enormously about turning the ugliness in our hearts to something beautiful.  And he was willing to die to make that happen.  There has never been a more beautiful human being than Jesus, even if he was short and ugly.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV) – Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

PRAYER: !  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 03/18/11 – The Music of the Spheres

DayBreaks for 03/18/11 – The Music of the Spheres

His music fills the universe...

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? – Job 38:1-7

 

When middle C is struck on the piano the piston of bones in your inner ear vibrates exactly 256 times a second. Each day you think about 50,000 different thoughts. When you flex your hand you are using seventy different muscles. On the surface of your body there are as many bacteria as there are people on the surface of the earth. (I should have skipped that one.) The mystery of your birth, the mystery of the love you feel, the mystery of the deepest part of you are all most improbable. You are an incredible contingency.

Sam Keen wrote, “I suspect that we are all recipients of cosmic love notes. Messages, omens, voices, revelations, and appeals are all part of each day’s events. If only we know how to listen, to read the signs.” Our everyday life isn’t everyday. The surface of what we see and hear isn’t all there is. When you laugh, when you cry, when you feel something happening inside, open yourself to the possibilities. The potential of the life that we have been given is breathtaking. Open your eyes. Listen carefully. Pay attention.

The music of the Presence of God is everywhere…if only we open our ears, we will hear it!

PRAYER: For Your glory and majesty, for the beauty of the works of Your hands, for Your song that fills the universe, we give You our praise!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks 03/03/11 – Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New

DayBreaks for 3/03/11 – Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New

Winter isn’t over yet, but where we live it is already turning towards early spring.  The almond trees have blossoms on them, the wild yellow mustard has grown up between the rows of vines that dot the hillsides and valley.  The blue herons that nest high up in a digger pine at the corner of our property have built their nests and are busily at work to raise up another generation of herons.  The grasses are growing and, except for the rainy days, birdsong seems to arise from the air itself.

 

His world is amazingly beautiful...

What an amazingly beautiful natural world we live in!  What an awesome God we have who thought to create such wonders!  Many have been those who stood and marveled at the things we can perceive with our senses…and how beautiful they are.  The Psalmist said, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. A poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins put it in these words: The world is charged with the grandeur of God.  Thomas Plunkett noted: I see His blood upon the rose. And St. Augustine was carried away in a rhapsody when he exclaimed: O Beauty ever ancient, ever new!

 

I have come to believe that I love photography so much because I find in it a way to pursue some of the beauty of His creation…and in so doing I often find myself wondering anew at the beauty of the Creator.

In Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning wrote: As a child, John Henry Newman imagined that behind every flower there lurked an angel who made it grow and blossom.  Later in life, as the foremost theologian in England, he wrote, ‘The reality is more profound.  It is God Himself who can be discovered in the beauty of sensible things.’

Those who look beyond the literal see the world as a metaphor for God.  When they direct us to the majesty of the mountains, the beauty of the prairies, the variety of wildflowers along the roadside, the smell of mint and hay on a summer morning, the rumble of a train through the valley, the sound of a waterfall, they birth the Word in our midst.  They dare us to dream of our homeland, where eye has not seen, neither has ear heart, nor has the imagination conceived of the beauty that awaits us.

Enjoy His beauty today…look for it, and let Him take your breath away!

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for creating beauty, for being Beautiful in Yourself!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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