A day goes by in a peaceful manner and BAM, all of a sudden something very ugly happens. What do you do? Is the day ruined? Is it all a wash? How do you balance your memory of the moments before with your cringing at the moments during the ugly or after it until you can regain composure? Well, if you find out, let me know. Here’s what I do, though, that works sometimes. I, being extraordinarily visual for a girl (so I’ve been told- I think gender has less to do with it than personality or attention), visualize myself picking up the ugly moment and surrounding ugly (it is shaped like a large dark brown leather bag of luggage for some reason) and I either throw it up to God for Him to dispose of or on particularly angry days I throw it into the fire myself. Let me tell you what this does. This tells my little self that that this matter was out of my control and forced upon me so I reject it as a part of my life and who I am. I tell you this because of this reason. Many of us have had or like me also continue to have ugly things happen to us and these things are deliberate and hideous but absolutely outside our control so outside our choice to do something about it or not. We cannot make these experiences a part of our story unless that story is our choice to pull out to help someone else going through it. We can decide to attend to them and allow them to hold us up and hinder our growth and testimony and energy or we can choose to give them to God or discard them as rubbish unless we need to use that on our terms to help someone else. I have had a miscarriage. I bring out that experience when a dear friend has had one and needs someone to understand their pain. Then I choose to experience that pain again with them in love with hope that it helps them. I have had other very bad experiences that I use the same way to help people. But my relationship with God and understanding of His Word has grown to the extent that I decide whether to carry the bad around with me or not and more often than not, bye bye it goes to Him, who can actually do something about it. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord. “It is I who repay.” So when it is really bad, and some of it has been, I don’t want to retaliate because I want God to do it. It is His baby. He is my Father and a good Father protects His children. His job. My job is to allow Him to do His job. And He will if He hasn’t already. You don’t know everything going on. We all have this choice. We can all choose what to carry and what to let go.
We can not (without surgery) alter what we look like but we can sure control how ugly we are. When there is an ugly pride within us, we can release it in favor of humble obedience to God. When there is an ugly unforgiveness welling up in us, we can choose to forgive. When there is an ugly impatience in us, we can choose to wait patiently and see the best in things. When there is an ugly envy welling up, we can defeat it with appreciation for what we have. All of this we can do on our own on good days or with God’s help on bad days. There are magnificent people who are unattractive and those who are attractive, but the attractiveness of the best of them physically takes no time at all to wear thin when the ugliness rears its ugly little head. You couldn’t pay me enough to stay in a room with ugly beautiful people. The Bible calls the skeletons with a beautiful skin covering. Give me a person that is beautiful on the inside any day, and nothing else matters. God is who allows the willing and humble heart to be beautiful and on these magnificent people, His love and favor dwells. The heart is where its at. Control the ugly and God will bring out the beautiful inside out.