Kya came home from field day at school with a beautiful butterfly colorfully painted on her face. It wasn’t but an hour later that her play time had wreaked havoc on her artwork as she sweated her butterfly into an unrecognizable creation. As I cleaned her face, I said, “Sweetheart, I’m so sorry your butterfly is gone.” She responded as innocently as a 6 year old could, “It’s ok, mommy. I like being me too.”
As women, we can often find ourselves hidden behind unsustainable beauty that lacks the authenticity and integrity to create true intimacy. We can keep the smile going and the “I’m good. How are you?” response, but at some point what’s inside of us will seep out.
The beauty of the cross is that God so loved us, that He willingly displayed the worst parts of us on His son Jesus. On the cross, Jesus who knew no sin became sin. If Christ, creator of the universe, can humble Himself to walk among us and wear our shame for the joy set before Him, then maybe we ought to consider that He finds beauty in the broken things. He exchanges beauty for ashes.
So is it possible that we don’t have to give air to the appearance of perfection? Is it possible that we can boast instead, in the perfecting process we are undergoing? How much more comfortable would it be to not hide behind unattainable illusions of perfection, but rather, wear our own skin, flaws and all. When you don’t have to worry about what might come out, what others are thinking or how you might not measure up, things are no longer hidden, relationships grow, true accountability is inspired and friendships are bonded. When we live in the light we discover the valuable gifts of intimacy that were once covered by shadows of shame and insecurity.
Totally honest relationships eliminate fake realities and artificial friendships. As much as I love the illusion of perfectly organized family calendars, my whiteboard that is hanging near my kitchen is still showing it’s Easter! My kids, who I love dearly and believe that they were perfectly picked for me, had to be threatened this morning within an inch of their life to get them out of the door on time. My friend from small group began to open my Tupperware cabinet to which I said “Enter at your own risk!” and she responded “I’m so glad you’re normal.” Perfection does not exist, but face to face, flaws and all, we can embrace our true selves and the beautiful mess that Jesus so loved that He gave His life for. Together we can redefine beauty as authenticity. We can build a legacy of Sisterhood that shares fearlessly and embraces one another without limitation.
Pastor Celeste Gonzales