Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Our beauty and flaws

Like an old wooden table, we have beauty and flaws. Our beauty shines through in our gifts and talents; in who we are and how we love. Our beauty is especially cherished by those whom are dearest to us. Yet, at the same time, like an old wooden table, our flaws intermingle with our beauty.

This is how our Creator sees us, the beautiful and the flawed.  God sees a beauty that encompasses all: the sturdiness, the durability, the reliance, the authenticity, of this beautiful piece of work. Yet, at the same time, He takes notice of the scratches, the stains, the knots, the worm holes; all the flaws that are there on the surface for all to see. And He loves it. He loves it all.

Like that table, it is difficult to hide our flaws.  They are there, out in the open.  Some of us might do a better job of hiding the flaws. However, in the end, they are there. They are a part of us that we cannot deny. We cannot ignore our defects and yet, we can use them to become even more beautiful.

What flaws are you ashamed of? What character defect do you tried to hide? What weaknesses surface at the most inopportune times, despite your best efforts to cover them up. Do you try to buff them out? Sand them down with your sense of humor or your quietness? Your intelligence and wit? Still you see them surface time and time again. How to remove them forever, you ask. Yet, that would take the character away from that old beautiful table. The flaws are a part of its beauty.

Although our weaknesses can be a cross, a burden if you will, they also present us with an opportunity to grow. Our defects help us to remember that we are not perfect and that there is only One that is perfect. God. God alone is perfect. Our weaknesses remind us that we cannot make it on our own. Yet, they help us strive for that perfection we do seek. We seek perfection, because ultimately we strive to "be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt. 5:48)

We become who we are meant to be by acknowledging our flaws. We become more of who we were created to be when we carry our vulnerability, our debilities, with dignity. They keep us humble. They keep our feet planted firmly on the ground.

At the end of the day they are a part of who we are. And just like that old wooden table that we feast on, share coffee with close friends upon. That old reliable table we polish and clean. Sand down and reseal. Just like that beautiful old table, whose every blemish tells a story, we too are beautiful, flaws and all. We are rich with beauty because our imperfections make us a work, always in progress. Although our flaws make us imperfect, they should make us reliable human beings that ultimately understand our neighbors imperfections, precisely because we share that same cross of weakness.

I encourage you to take a look at your weaknesses, your flaws, your blemishes. Take a look at them with eyes of mercy. Accept them. Strive to improve upon them, while  also recognizing that they make up who you are. And remember that it is there, in that very part that you sometimes try so very hard to cover up, that God does some of His greatest work: He shows His Mercy!

What better day to talk about mercy than on the feast of St. Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy that Jesus gave to her for the world.

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