Okay, where to start with this one? First of all, this is probably going to go along with the Bible verse of "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." And it is going to coincide with a lot of different things that are going on in my life right now and a lot of different frustrations. I have constantly been reminding myself that I am not the judge and I have no business judging others.... but it is so dang hard not too!!! So anyway, here goes... and I will start with something a little less stressful.
We are going to talk about this show that I have been watching. I just started watching the first season of Ugly Betty, and while there are some things (okay a lot of things) that I don't support and shouldn't be watching at all probably and that I don't know that if Jesus was in my living room that I would sit and watch that show... okay I probably wouldn't watch any shows and I would try and throw a blanket or something over the Playstation, which is a whole other blog.... back to subject...
The part that has endeared me to Betty (America Ferrera) is that she does such a good job of portraying someone who I think most of us could identify with. I don't care how beautful you are, I truly believe that none of us are completely secure in our looks. And it is especially hard in a culture that places so much value on appearance and money and status, when we all feel so insecure and not good enough. The wonderful thing about Betty is that she is so beautiful on the inside. And, it might sound cliche, but I love the fact that she doesn't want to lie, she always wants to do what is right, and she comes back over and over and forgives people that are so mean to her and turns the other cheek and keeps going. She doesn't let them break her down. And, you can just see the "pretty" come out of her, despite the braces and the glasses and the bad hair and the awful fashion sense, and then you see these beautiful people who do such a good job of being ugly on the inside... It just keeps my thinking about how applicable that is to my life right now.
Lately, I have been very frustrated by the way that appearance has circumvented fixing what is really wrong. If you can pretty up a room, why repair the leaks and asbestos? If you have beautiful hair or skin, it doesn't matter how you treat people. It is frustrating to walk into a building that has been remodeled to the hilt, yet feel the ugly, feel the anger, feel the oppression in that place. That feeling tells you more than any brand new wallpaper ever will. I keep having to remind myself that God is the one who sees the inside of all this. It doesn't matter how much money we put into making our outsides look better. New cover-up won't cover up the ugly on the inside.
Of course it is nice to keep up appearances, and I think I just read something about how God gives us beauty and while we shouldn't throw it away or ignore it, it's not what is most important. I have had to remind myself of that over and over. It doesn't matter if you sit in a scuffed plastic chair or on a luxurious couch, if you are sitting in a place where there is evil, it doesn't matter how comfortable you are. It's not about the frustration that I have with the type of people who create "fake", it is about praying for them. I just have to pray that the focus will shift from aesthetics and show, to simple honesty.
It is my job, as a Christian, no matter where I am, or how much I disagree, to simply be the light and to remain beautiful on the inside. I cannot become part of the ugly. I cannot support the charade. I have to turn the other cheek and pray for the "pretty" people. Those who hurt on the inside and are covering it up. Those who hurt others and cover it up. I won't be part of the pageant, and I am not the judge, but I have to be a spotlight.
With the exception of those who sacrifice their souls to be seen as beautiful and important, I like to think that we all want to be, despite our insecurities, someone who is beautiful on the inside. And this is exactly who Ugly Betty is. She is honest and loyal, to a fault. How many of us wish that we could stand up for what we believe in 100% of the time, and if we don't... own up to it and accept the consequences? How many of us wish we could be transparent in how we feel? But instead we cover it up? How many of us wish we could treat others better than we do? How many of us struggle to be objective?
And then, even better, how many of us look at those who are beautiful on the outside (or think they are) but are obviously evil on the inside and judge them? I know I have been a lot lately. Those who put a front on evil and cruel. Those who do ugly things in "nice" ways. Those who ignore or help cover up bad things and pretend they are caring and innocent. It frustrates me so much... yet it isn't my place to judge.
It is my place to focus on myself and my character, to make sure that I don't spend too much time trying to cover up my bad (yes, I have some) or justify my wrongs. And even more importantly, it is my place to be a witness. The one thing Ugly Betty doesn't have is any reference to Christ. He crucified Himself so that we could live. He died for us all. The ugly and the beautiful, the nice and the cruel, the honest and the liar. And only He is the judge. He simply asks that I bear His cross and be His light.
Whew, it is so hard providing lighting for this remodeled room!!