The other night, I spent hours writing an article on inward beauty, and how a gentle spirit matters more than True Religion jeans. We place so much importance on our appearance that we let the true elegance of our spirit go both unnoticed and unrecognized. I stayed up late editing the piece, and was happy with how it turned out, and hoped that the national magazine where I submitted it would publish it.
The next day, my six-year-old had a play date. I had been slumming around all week in workout attire, so I finally fixed my hair, put on a frilly top, and wore a necklace. I sat poolside and shared with another mom how sad it was that someone I know seemed to stop caring about herself, and how she is just too pretty to let herself go like that. The vitriol speech flowed like warm honey out of my mouth. I didn’t even bat an eye.
Let me recap.
- I wrote an article on how outward beauty is overrated.
- I felt all slap-happy proud of myself for writing it.
- I dolled up for a bunch of moms who didn’t really care how I looked
- I totally slammed on some poor hapless victim about her lack of outward beauty
- I went home singing show tunes and eating popsicles
Sometimes I want to poke my own eyes out like one of the Three Stooges. How can I possibly be such a screw-up? Can I not go 24 hours without being so downright hypocritical? I texted the mom I was talking to and apologized for my words, but it fell flat. I lowered my head to ask for forgiveness. I realized how flawed I am as a human being, and I wondered why God keeps giving me second chances.
Peter promised Jesus he wouldn’t betray him. He felt with every fiber of his being that he wouldn’t. And yet he did. Because left to our own devices, we say one thing and do another. We fall asleep and say hurtful words and fill our lives with vanity. We give to the church but ignore the poor. We pray for hours, and then walk out spewing vinegar from our mouths. It’s a disgrace to our Creator. It’s a disgrace to others who see us as examples. It’s a disgrace to ourselves. Our lives are but a broken mirror with past mistakes and shattered weaknesses strewn around on the floor.
But God repairs, and cuts heal. I’ll regroup as the new day dawns, as Peter did. Not due not to my own strength, but of His.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matte0ne/6328100019/