Archive for January 2020

Beauty   Leave a comment

Humans instinctively pursue beauty.  We recognize it from our earliest days.  We want what is lovely and attractive.  It’s an innate desire in every person.  What exactly we find most beautiful and worthy of our attention varies from person to person, but there is always something lovely that we want.  And everyone respects the artistry of athletes, artists, dancers, musicians, painters, sculptors, architects.  We respond to the amazing artistry of nature.  It’s just plain beautiful.

But what do we do when we can’t get there?

For example, only a certain number of girls who study ballet will dance Clara in any given year. There will be several others to complete with in any dance studio at the minimum, perhaps many more in large cities where there are hundreds auditioning for the role.  But only one person in any city can dance Clara.  You have to work really, really hard.  You have to be pretty much perfect.  And you have to be attractive.  And when you dance Clara, hundreds of girls littler than you are drinking your perfect beauty in.  The poses, the moves, the dress, the way your face and hair reflect perfect beauty.

But most of us can’t get there.

Seeing and seeking beauty lead to demanding perfection of ourselves.  It’s as if we think that if we can be beautiful, if we can get there to that place of lovely perfection, we will have what we need.  Advertising is just one long presentation of beauty, attractive people, places and activities.  When it succeeds, we think we will possess what we long for when we possess what the ad sold us.

We long to reach beauty because we instinctively believe that it is good.  We want to be that beauty.

But, if you are less than beautiful, where do you fit in?  What is the value of your life in a world that longs for beauty, and so overlooks you?

We don’t see beauty as God sees it.

God has given each of us who we are and what we are to do while we’re here.  There’s beauty in that no matter how we appear to others.


Posted January 15, 2020 by swanatbagend in reflections

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The Roof of My World   Leave a comment

God peeled off the roof of my world two years ago when my husband lost his job unexpectedly.

Sure, you know this happens to people.  But before it happens to you, it hasn’t yet happened to you.

He got a new job three and a half weeks after the day he lost the old one.  This was a quick turnaround and meant we were only without income for seven weeks, while we waited for the monthly paycheck from the new job to arrive.  People said, and rightly so, that it was wonderful my husband had found a new job so quickly.  It was quick.  Talk about relief!

The relief of knowing God had provided for us did not however relieve the sadness and trauma of losing a job he had been told he did well the most recent time he asked his supervisor about it.  It didn’t relieve the disconnect that existed because he had been told the same thing every other time the question had ever been put.  The disbelief of close co-workers on hearing the news eased the sting…a bit.

Being turned back out on the street without your laptop, with the work cell phone loaned to you for a few more days so you can get your personal photos off of it, without an opportunity to say goodbye to the co-workers you’ve known and partnered with for twelve years, as if you’re some sort of objectionable criminal–that is trauma.

So, as I said, the roof peeled off our world.  We can negotiate this fact by criticizing ourselves for being naive to start out with, or say we’re discounting the providence of our father.  These statements are true.  But they only go so far.

You have to feel the pain, and you will.

The fear will resonate for a long time to come.  The fear colors your future interactions in your new job, although you remind yourself that it’s not likely to happen again.

I lived through this traumatic loss with my husband.  We’ve been a team for a long time, and we’ve experienced chronic issues in our lives that brought their own challenges.  But this one was so abrupt, it changed things for us.  As much as we acknowledge that God has it all, and that he will bottom line care for us as he sees fit, and bring us to himself in this life and the life to come, it still has changed us.  Despite our faith, this event in our lives has made challenges more difficult to face without fear.  That’s the reality.

Things happen and then you finally know the scary things can become real.

Posted January 9, 2020 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized