I had so much fun sharing a classic from the archives last week, I thought I’d do it again. This one still hits me in the gut. (Literally… my less-than-rock-hard gut… thanks to carrying two children.) If you’ve ever felt frumpy, ugly, flawed or less-than… here is some encouragement you need to hear.
My daughters have a new game. They call it “naked lion.” It’s a pre-bath ritual in which they strip down to their birthday suits and chase each other through the house, pretending to be farm and zoo animals.
Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up.
“I’m a naked horse!” my five-year-old yells as she whizzes past the bathroom door.
“I be a nay-kee lion!” little sister follows, sputtering trails of laughter in her wake. And off they go, galloping and roar-roar-roaring from room to room until I catch their wiggly bodies and wrangle them into the tub.
It’s all very amusing. In fact, part of me is a tiny bit jealous. My children are so comfortable in their own skin. When did I learn to be ashamed of mine?
Somewhere along the road to growing up, I got it in my head that I have flaws. So I choose clothing and hairstyles and cosmetics designed to hide. I grumble at my reflection in the mirror. I tilt my head a certain way for cameras so nobody snaps a poor feature. I stare at other women and wish for their hair, their complexion, their petite and pedicured feet.
Oh. You do it, too.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. . . . God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:27, 31a).
God created us. We are his works of art, each one of us—wonderfully made, Psalm 139 says. More than that, he created us in his own image. And declared it was very good!
Do you see where I’m going with this? God thinks we’re beautiful. Who are we to disagree?
“Girls, the tub is ready!” I call from the bathroom as my wild animals zoom down the hall.
“Nay-kee lyyyyyyyyon, roaaaaaar!” My toddler runs toward me, giggling and breathless. I scoop her up— gotcha!—and nuzzle her soft Buddha tummy with my nose. She is so proud of that fat belly.
I send up a silent prayer. Lord, never let her be ashamed of your masterpiece.
Child, the Lord whispers to my heart—you are my masterpiece, too.
* * * * * * * *
What to Read Next: How a 40-Year-Old Woman Can Look 20 Again