“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2b
Isaiah prophesied that Jesus wouldn’t be physically beautiful. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first read Isaiah 53: 2-3, but I felt its truth in my heart. Would the Servant King, born in a manger rather than a palace, come in a princely, enviable body? No, Christ’s physical beauty would have been the kind we see all around us in dear, Velveteen-Rabbit sorts of people. The kind of beauty that is not at first apparent, but after you get to know the person, you wonder how you were ever blind to it: the kindness in their smile, the sparkle in their eyes, the gentleness in their hands.
Being the daughter of a photographer, there were always glossy images of pretty people in our house. Even the people who weren’t ordinarily “handsome,” Daddy made flawless with his camera and his artist’s eye.
Though my parents never knew it, somewhere along the way I began telling myself a terrible lie. It was an unspoken fear, really—perpetuated by media’s message. I felt that I needed to look lovely on the outside in order to be loved. This lie was a heavy burden during youth, but as I began to “age,” it became anxiety-inducing.
I find such comfort in the thought that my beloved Savior, God’s own Son, the perfect man, was not physically handsome. His looks were not what drew people to Him. His appearance did not inspire adoration.
Instead, He was radiant with true beauty—the beauty that reaches out to others with healing arms, the beauty that forgets self, the beauty that forgives, that serves, that speaks truth and comfort, that gives all for the sake of another! (And, never has a child been so loved by his Father!)
I had always had an image of a physically pleasing Jesus in my mind, due to all the paintings I’d seen over the years, but he wasn’t—not at first glance, not by human standards. Heaven’s definition of beauty is different. I know this because even His resurrected body wasn’t “flawless.” It bore scars . . . the scars of the cross. But those marks were beautiful and perfect because they uttered the most profound, “I love you” mankind would ever hear.
Does this mean that a mother’s heavenly body will bear stretch marks? I don’t know, but if so, our scars, too, will be viewed by all as beautiful, for they were etched upon us while we were loving and nurturing new life.
Think of the one “imperfection” you wish would disappear from your own body. Now, ask Jesus to help you bathe it in heavenly light. Maybe acne is beautiful in heaven. Maybe soft tummies are angels’ pillows. Maybe scars radiate love. Heaven’s definitions aren’t society’s definitions.
Dearest Lord, when I am frowning into the mirror, please give me the courage to turn around towards others and to love them with Your beautiful love.