In the beginning of the gospel of Matthew, Jesus is preaching his sermon on the mount. He begins by talking specifically to his disciples, and in verse sixteen, he says this:
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God.” (ESV)
I heard this verse paraphrased Sunday at church, Live a life that draws people to you so that you can draw them to me. The man speaking continued to talk about us, as Christians, living an attractive life & how we cannot draw people to Christ if we ourselves are not worth imitating.
That’s why God made women beautiful, you see. To draw people in & point them back to Him. He gave us the unique ability to bring forth life, and I’m not just talking about babies. God placed it in all of us to create, to bring forth. We do it in our homes & in our gardens, with the clothes we wear & the words we say. Women breathe & talk & live in beauty.
At least, we were made to. The enemy had a different idea, though. Because he, too, was once beautiful. He was the angel of music, robed in beauty, his sole purpose in life to bring glory to God. But he wanted the glory for himself, and now his job is to corrupt the beauty that God has created. He’s jealous. He’s angry at you & me for filling in where he failed. So he tries to corrupt our hearts & foul our minds so that we cannot succeed in this one thing: in pointing all creation back to the Creator.
That’s why it is so difficult, walking in this air of beauty that we were created for. And while it’s hard & tiring & full of struggles, it is exactly what the world needs from us. Because when people see beauty, they are looking at the face of God (Psalm 50:2). Do you realize how powerful that is?
Think about women you know. Who is it that is beautiful, but in an otherworldly way? The woman that makes you say, I’ll have whatever she’s having! Who is she?
There is one lady that comes to my mind’s eye when I think really hard about that beauty (aside from all the lovely women related to me – we all know they’re otherworldly). Her name is Shelley. I met her as a child & promptly forgot about her when she was no longer in my world. Then, by the hand of God, I encountered her once more as a teenage bride bound for a third-world country. We recalled our shared childhood, and she prayed for me & spoke words of life over me before I embarked on that adventure. We keep in touch, and any time we happen across each other there are hugs & tears & words of affirmation galore. And the thing about Shelley is that she doesn’t stand out – not by the world’s standards. But her heart of worship that oozes love for her king is contagious & always calls me to cherish my Lord a little more. Her words are altogether lovely, always praising God & full of His Spirit.
She is so beautiful, and whenever I see Shelley, I am called to new heights. When I hear her words of love & light, I want to be better, stronger, kinder. I come away from encounters with her wanting to love God more & love people better. She makes me want to be the best possible Nora I can be.
This is the beauty that God calls us to – not one that relishes in praise, but points all of the glory to Him. The flowers do it. And so can you.