I follow the lines of the birthmark with my finger. It is soft. It's colours are distinctive. I lean in and kiss it gently. And I smile. This little mark, this blemish if you will, is so much a part of him. It is one of his identifying marks and is unique only to him. I believe that this little blemish is beautiful.
But I know that not everyone would agree. In the past, it might have kept him from entering worship at the temple as it shows a blemish that could be considered unclean. It could have put him in danger from those who saw marks as a sign of evil. Blemishes were dividers, separators and distinguishers. They were anything but beautiful.
When God looks at us, he does not focus on the physical blemishes. He is much more concerned with the spiritual blemishes. And they are anything but beautiful to him. Those things that we hide so well and call blemishes are often the very things that caused his son to have to go to the cross. Things that we may see as quirks that make us who we are, are often spiritual blemishes that are sin. Impatience, perpetual lateness, telling little white lies, procrastination, gossiping, etc are not blemishes that make us beautiful. They are marks of our selfish nature. God calls these things sinful. They mark us as opposed to him.
However, the good news is that he does not see those blemishes when he sees us! When we are covered by the blood of Jesus, he sees that blood. He sees us washed clean. He sees us without the blemishes. What a joy to think that he does not trace his finger around my spiritual blemishes and use them as a definer of me. He defines me by the sacrifice of his son! I do not have to fear his response because it is predetermined.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel."
What blemishes in your life have you used to define yourself? Let them go. Confess them to God and rejoice that he does not define you by your blemishes but by the sacrifice that covers them. Join me in letting go of definitions that limit us to marred images of who he sees. Let's view ourselves the way God sees us.
Father God forgive me when I define myself by my limitations, quirks and sins. Give me the courage to confess those things as sin and then to move forward. Thank you for seeing me through the sacrifice of Jesus and not the accusations of this life and world. Amen.