Tuesday, October 29, 2013

God's creation

I went to a camp/retreat this weekend as a favor to a friend. During those few days, I was reminded how incredibly beautiful God's creation was, not only in the changing leaves of Fall, or the sky full of stars, but in His people.

God's been teaching me to be aware that everyone I come into contact with has a story of their own and ways that they're broken. Instead of simply taking the person at face value, I need to acknowledge their journey, whether I know the details or not. Thinking that way seems to make the people all around me more 3D.

At camp, I saw some of the girls open up. My friends were also honest about some of their struggles. And then it hit me again. A few years ago, I was struck by the seeming contradiction I beheld when a strong friend confessed that she was afraid. At that moment, I realized that I was seeing her as she truly was for the first time. It's odd. Here she was, telling me that she was afraid, almost like airing a dirty secret, and in that moment, I realized how beautiful she was. That's what I saw again this weekend.

For some reason, we humans like to pretend that we're invincible and perfect. When life is hard, we "grin and bear it" so no one will guess that we really don't have it all together. And that's just it. We all know we're just pretending, but we want to keep up appearances and so we let others keep their masks so we can keep ours. I've often wondered about this. Here's my "discovery":
       When we take off our mask, when we open up to others and show them our fears, we're not really showing them our ugliness.
God has created each of us and put everything within: weaknesses, fears, strengths, positives. He knows what's there because He put it there. When we acknowledge our whole, entire selves, that is, the good as well as the weak parts of us, we finally embrace who God created us to be. We can begin to see ourselves and others how God sees us. And it's incredibly beautiful.

God has created everything in this world and has declared it to be good. Unfortunately, because of sin, we have distorted some of the beautiful things. "But God's ways are not our ways, and God's thoughts are not our thoughts." Our weaknesses exist to point us back to Him, so we don't try to accomplish anything with our own strength. And our strengths exist to help build each other up.

I guess all this is to say that being vulnerable is beautiful because it's showing others who you truly are.
Acknowledge and embrace all of you, because God has declared you to be good.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


    I love watching tv shows and movies with superheroes. The feats that the characters accomplish are so amazing! They continue to fight against evil, no matter the cost, and the bad guy always gets brought to justice. There is always a point in the plot when it seems like the hero can't go on, and that's when I hold my breath, though I know they're going to succeed. At about that point, at least one of the hero's friends shows up and helps them keep going to their happy ending.
    As a kid, I definitely dreamed of being the hero one day and saving the world. As I grew up, more and more people told me it was a fairytale and could never happen. I'm a dreamer though, and I argue that we can be superheros, but in a different way. I know that I'll never have the ability to become invisible or fly on my own or have super strength but I do know that I possess special powers. I'm able to use words to help people realize that they're important and loved. I have the ability to listen to someone else tell me their troubles and be able to comfort them simply by being with them. I possess the will the succeed and to see justice and love in the world around me. And that's only the beginnning.
     In one of my favorite movies, Kung Fu Panda, the main character learns that the secret to limitless power lies within. "There's no special ingredient; it's just you." Think about that! We have all we need to succeed already within us. Life is how we learn to see those special gifts and abilities and put them into action. So guess what? My childhood dream can come true! I can be a superhero! I don't need radiation or a vat of toxic waste because I have all I need already inside me. Using my individual gifts to bring about justice and peace is what makes me a hero. It's ok if no one else realizes it, because all heroes have a secret identity.
    Use your powers for good and go help save the world! :D