Monday, February 18, 2008

What is Beautiful?

"Go do something beautiful, in the name of Jesus, do something beautiful
God do something Jesus would, do something beautiful."
Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 2002 Make Way Music

For the last several weeks at church we have been singing this little chorus. In some ways it is a theme song for this period of time in the church. I've been reflecting on whether or not we as a congregation, and especially me as an individual, have any idea what we are saying. I suspect that there are others who would join me in saying "I'm singing a lie." (Or as Casting Crowns sings "Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small?")

Oh, I don't want to sing a lie. But I suspect that I also don't define beautiful the same way God does. "Go do something Jesus would..." What did Jesus do? Well he touched the untouchable, he loved the unlovable, he confronted the pious, and then he sacrificed himself for those who were rejecting him. The world would say that that was a wasted life. Yet, from this side of the cross, I would say that all of those things are absolutely beautiful and absolutely necessary. But they are costly, and I don't know that I'm always willing to pay the cost. If "beautiful" was defined by the world's standards it would be easier--because that would imply that there would be accolades from the world for doing it. But the things Jesus did, the world really prefers to ignore. The world likes to deny that there are poor, or untouchables, or truths that need to be upheld. Doing something beautiful is often overlooked by the world, and if it is seen it is sneered. Doing what Jesus would costs.

I've been following the blogger Compassion trip that Shannon and BooMama and others are taking. What they are doing is beautiful. And what Compassion is doing is beautiful. They are touching people that most of the world try to ignore. I am touched by their stories. I've laughed with them, cried with them and prayed for them. Most of all it challenges me to look outside my comfort zone. In challenges me to look at people the way Jesus would.

I don't have to go to Uganda to see people as Jesus does. They are all around me. Last week the most beautiful thing I could do was take care of whiny children who could not articulate how bad they felt--so they acted out. Keeping hold of my frustrations while entertaining them and keeping medicine in them was beautiful--because it is the service God called me to at that moment. Yesterday was spent at a "newcomers lunch" at my church. My comfort zone is not introducing myself to new people but I did it--because it was where I needed to be. Tomorrow I will take Jewel to swimming lessons. I am certain that the teacher and the parents of the other kids are not believers. I'm praying to see them as Jesus would--and reach out as he leads. Doing what Jesus calls us to do is not always taking big leaps of faith or doing huge tasks. It is being aware. It is seeing needs. And it is being obedient when He prompts us to act.

I'm praying that I can do something beautiful this week. Praying that you can too. Are you willing to take that step of faith? Blessings to you!

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