The Portrait of…

IMG_2511Today I read something that made me remember an old book that I studied in literature and then watched a very old movie made based on it, “The Portrait of Dorian Gray”. If you know of it, you know there was a very handsome young man who sold his soul to the devil to keep his physical beauty for eternity with all of the horrible deeds, cruelties and sins he was guilty of showing only upon the face of the portrait of him that had been painted. The book ends and is well depicted in the movie by showing us a man who becomes so disgusted when he goes up into the attic and uncovers the painting to see what he has become that he rips the painting with a knife and by doing so takes his own life. Another movie I thought of is “Shallow Hal”, which shows us how a young and very shallow man only sees people for how they appear on the outside. He has an encounter that makes him see people as they are on the inside and to me the results were entertaining and insightful.

It makes me wonder about our perception of each other, you of me, you of your self, me of myself, and I wish I could see into each of those with clarity. You see a doctor in a white coat in an office setting, and you trust him to care for you, but what if you had seen him first out in a bar wearing a sleeveless shirt with a drink in one hand acting a little wild and crazy, would you still trust him to operate on your heart? We see each other dressed nicely sitting in church, maybe even a hand raised in what we think is praise and worship and don’t see the witch-craft lurking behind the person’s countenance, or conversely, the person digging in the ditch, covered with dirt looking like the hind wheels of destruction, who has the heart of a saint.

The point I am trying to make is that we never know from the outward appearance what the inside of a person really looks like. There is all types of make-up, plastic surgery, there are different types of nips, tucks and tricks that can make us look better on the outside, however 1 Samuel 16:7 “GOD judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; GOD looks into the heart.” Things like how a nose is shaped, the color of our skin, the weight of our body, all make a vast difference in how we see ourselves and sadly the way others view us, but we know that there is One, the Creator, the very God that made us, knows us, and loves us and to Him, we are perfect just the way we are. We can’t fool Him with our make-up and fancy trappings, Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”

Psalm 139:13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made!  I worship in adoration what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit-by-bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. That is a scripture I like to use a lot because it is very important to me.

Go look in the mirror and see the beautiful creation of God and love it, because if you can’t love yourself, you leave little room for anyone else to do so.

Now what’s my point? I am asking you “How about your heart, is it right with God? That’s the thing that counts today”. Remember, you are beautiful!

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