The ugly and the beautiful

I’m convinced that nothing short of Heaven will ever be able to deliver absolute perfection. Nothing is without some pain, some struggle, some trepidation. We are, after all, firmly rooted in a dying Earth.

Yet, we give thanks for that which is broken, shared, bruised, and blessed. When we are really brave, we give thanks for the knowns and the unknowns, the past and the future. We give thanks for the here and the now.

Thanks for the sacrificial friend who doesn’t mind sharing your load when the weight of thanksgiving is too hard to utter alone. Thanks for the husband who rubs your necks, massages your shoulders, silently saying, “We are in this together.” Thanks for the nurses who have compassion on your faltering, wavering emotions.  Thanks for the smile of a sister, the understanding of a mother, the protection of a father.

And, when these things slip away, we give thanks for a Heavenly Daddy, an unending promise, a Savior’s love. We give thanks so that the things which are ugly may be transformed into something holy. That the dust on our travel-weary garments may become like glitter in the air, setting the stage for the miraculous.

Last night I witnessed a childhood friend with a broken road marry her Prince Charming. I watched as she was transformed from an eager, nervous young woman into a glowing bride. She said “I Do” without a falter in her voice – she, who had at one point many years ago had declared that she would never love again.

Friday I walked in circles in a hospital parking lot with my husband, pondering and weighing our future and the decisions that we had to make without knowing what was around the corner. Laughter turned into crying as emotions churned and whirled.

Today I begin to pack for my return flight to Denver. Today I pray to recover. Today I sip tea and massage the knots firmly entrenched down my neck and back. Today I wonder what God has in store, what beautiful will He bring from my ugly.

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