“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
Hair fell to the floor below the swiveling chair. Time and time again I had been here, in this chair. My hairdresser at the time was more of a mentor than someone who did my hair. She had a way with hair, but her hair-doing ability wasn’t what drew me back to her– it was her way with people. My time with her was like someone asking, “Would you like a counseling session with a hair cut and color thrown in for free?” Um—Yes please!
One of the things she would say often is how she loved seeing all the different facets of the Lord in His creation, mainly in people—His image bearers.
She would take delight in all her clients, seeing a piece of God in each person who sat in her chair. At first, I only came to add highlights to my hair, but the reason I continually returned was because she highlighted the beauty in me and called it out.
There are many expressions and beliefs about beauty. There are reasons these saying have stuck over time—truth tends to stick around.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is one of these sayings that holds familiarity. This truth has proven true since the beginning of time.
How we view others has much to do with how we view ourselves, outwardly and inwardly, which is greatly impacted by if we are “dwelling in the house of the Lord” and what is inside of us. This isn’t about going to a physical dwelling but rather a state of the heart.
In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (“Our” referring to the Holy Trinity)
The different beautiful facets of God were embedded in the very DNA of man originally. This includes inwardly and outwardly. But how we view others often is rooted in how we view ourselves and God.
When looking at others, we can either notice the beauty of each individual creation of God, made and formed in His image and likeness, compare their likeness to our own, or make assumptions and judgments. The same is true for looking at ourselves in the mirror. We need to be kind to ourselves as well.
But if we are dwelling in the house of the Lord, or in other words, abiding in His love and loving ourselves in a healthy way from a place of identity in Him, then what comes as a result is new vision.
At this point, I can’t help but think back of all the vision statements at the beginning of 2020—The year of 20/20 vision. Could it be everything happening around us is so we can look at things with new vision –Vision that beholds the beauty of the Lord in others around us, starting within our own families and then extending to others around us?
Seeing the world with new vision allows us to put ourselves in the shoes of others and cultivates compassion, empathy, care, and kindness.
What do you see when you look at an elderly person? Do you see the beauty of a life hopefully well-lived and the years of service and pouring out of themselves to others? Or if on the outside they appear fragile and worn down, what then? Do you see the beauty in perseverance and the trials they must have endured to still be pressing on and daily braving the world?
The list of the people we encounter on a daily basis is endless: the clerk at the grocery store, the neighbor hurrying to pass by, the Uber driver, the pregnant girl who seems too young.
When we begin to see the beauty in the people around us that we pass on the street in the correct godly way, we see the beauty of the Lord in them and our vision changes. Then, it is no longer outward appearance that defines our vision, it is noticing they behold the very image of God and His likeness in some way. This new vision frees us from the bonds of judgement and opens the door for us to “inquire in His temple” (Ps 27:4b) or in other words—become curious. With these new eyes and curiosity, instead of making judgements, we ask questions, which opens the door for the Holy Spirit to work. Curiosity is the key that opens the door to compassion: Curious of what their life is like; curious if they know Jesus; curious how their day is going; curious of their story; curious of who God created them to be.
When we are inward focused, we aren’t curious. And when we aren’t curious and inquiring, we are missing the beauty—the beauty of every person God created in His image.
Father God, I pray we would see with new vision—that we would see every person with the eyes of the Lord, behold the beauty of the Lord, inquire in His temple, and be filled with compassion and grace. In Jesus’ Name.
Perhaps, like my hairdresser, we can help repair the split ends of this world and add some Jesus highlights to those around us–pulling out the light and calling forth the beauty within each person crafted and intimately designed by the very hand of God.
Today’s post was written by Sue Molitor. Sue works with the ministry of Deeper Still in International Relations. She lives in beautiful East Tennessee and loves spending time with her husband and 3 kids. She enjoys reading, coffee with friends, and taking long walks. She has been writing for the Deeper Still Devotions for 7 years and loves to encourage others and cheer them on towards finding freedom and healing.
Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.