Posted by: Beth | January 9, 2021

It’s Beautiful


“It’s beautiful.”  The words seemed to escape with a sense of wonder and awe from our eight-year-old grandson.

“They’re broken.”  Disappointment rang through my words.

We were putting away Christmas decorations.  In the process, we went through a box of stuff, including boxes of glass ornaments, that we did not use this year. Whoever packed it up was careless or did not think things through.  Roughly one third of the larger ornaments in the bottom box were crushed by the weight of other items in the box.  At first glance I saw poor packing and brokenness. His first impression was the beauty of the inside of the broken ornaments.

“It’s beautiful.”

“They’re broken.”

“But Nannie, they’re beautiful.”

A pause.

“Nannie, they’re just like people.  They might be broken on the outside but on the inside they’re beautiful.”

Leave it to a child to find the lesson in a box of broken ornaments.  Not always, but often enough that we should pay attention, people are beautiful on the inside even when they’re broken on the outside.  I have read words of thankfulness from more than one recovered addict: for those who believed when even they themselves could not; for prayers when they weren’t so sure that any god existed, much less a God of love and restoration; for those who believed in the potential of a healthy life even when a relapse happened.  I have seen the emotionally downtrodden carried by the presence of friends.  I have seen the mentally fragile thrown a rescuing rope by loved ones. I have seen the physically struggling supported by friends and neighbors. I have seen spiritual seekers gently drawn into a fellowship by love. 

I made the picture after we had removed most of the ornaments.  I think there’s even there for us to see another lesson.  Not one small ornament was damaged.  Not one.  That’s easy to explain; they were shorter and no pressure hit them.  We need to be that way, too.  Physically and spiritually.  It’s easy for us to see the need to protect babies and young children.  Sometimes we forget, especially if someone comes to faith in God as an adult, that spiritually they are babes. They nurture, guidance, and protection for a time.

What would the world look like if everyone who professes the belief in a God who cares about the world treated the people around them as if they are beautiful on the inside?   What if cared for the spiritually young just as we do for the physically young? Not one of us can change the entire world, but every one of us WILL change the world right around us.  Will we see the brokenness and through it away?  Will we see the beauty and treasure it?  No, I didn’t rescue any of the broken ornaments.  But people are valuable in God’s sight and should be in ours.  May each of us who profess to believe that act like we believe it. May each of us choose to be a beacon of light pointing to God and his love.


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