We were created to be unique and beautiful. It takes some of us a lifetime to realize this fact, especially if we were abused, mistreated, and criticized in our younger years. The purpose of a parent is to look deep into the soul of their child and transfer this universal truth/knowledge into the heart of that child with tenderness and love. I believe this is done with the eyes, the affirmation that the child is accepted and treasured. The eyes claim the presence of the child’s soul and tells it “Come, join and stay with us, you are welcome, you are safe here.”
It can be so easy to miss that message. Or forget it. Hurts, rebellion, self-interest, worshiping someone other than God can all rob us of our sense of uniqueness and beauty, or even superfluous physical beauty can be mistaken for the real thing.
I glimpse this real beauty occasionally in someone and stop to appreciate and identify it. It is true, enduring, strong, transparent. It rises up within the person, and their life becomes a beautiful song within that moment, singing praises to high places.
And I think gratitude is a part of it. When earthly circumstances prevent a person from knowing their created worth, God carefully reveals over time how He sees that person. Slowly that truth is embedded in their spirit, and they start believing again. It has almost nothing to do with physical beauty that fades. As the person accepts His immense love and acceptance, they respond with gratitude. I know some who have wept over the smallest gift from God, proclaiming the awe they feel at His graciousness. These people are usually known for their positive attitudes. How can a person be depressed or angry when they are on the look-out for His next gift of affirmation?
Even when difficult times come, that person has come to trust God. They might not understand why something happened, but they trust He is in control, that He is good, “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Note: You know, I think I just learned something. I have always felt a little uncomfortable about people in heaven continually praising God, and I have not understood it. When I was younger I fought with the impression that He was on an ego trip demanding all those people to worship Him, but knowing that was not a part of His character. My discomfort came from my struggle of wanting myself on the throne. Now I see praising is part of our beauty, a reaching upward to love, honor, and grow closer to Him. It is part of our connection to Him, our intimacy with Him, our sharing love with Him, our gratitude. Our returning to Him.