For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
A bedraggled man with scraggly beard and uncut hair, sweat-stained and dirt-laden face, wearing torn and soiled clothing, walks down dusty paths in worn sandals.
A prostrate man lies in the dust, fervently praying, tears infused with blood flowing down, soiling the face, staining the tunic.
A bruised, weakened man, scarred and bloodied, thorns embedded in unkempt hair, drags a cross, falling under the load, face buried in the dirt.
A half-clothed, broken man, suspended on a cross, sinks into the nails, gasping for breath, in agonizing torment with each living moment.
The picture of Beauty? By worldly standards, a definitive “NO.” And, yet, He IS. “Fairest Lord Jesus,” a hymn believed to have its origins in 17th Century Germany with unknown authorship, praises the “Beautiful Savior” who is fairer than the meadows, the woodlands in spring, the sunshine, the moonlight, the stars, and all of nature.¹
The psalmist David also speaks of the beauty of the Lord in his song of praise:
One thing I ask from the LORD
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
But what is this beauty that is spoken of in these songs of praise? Living in a culture so focused on outward appearance and good looks, Jesus would not pass the “handsome man” test. His beauty is an inner one, reflected through His goodness, His purity, His compassion, His obedience, His sacrificial love, His pierced hands and side, His risen soul.
When we face ourselves in a truth-rendering inner search, confronting our reflections in the mirror of our souls, we should see these qualities of Jesus in our hearts, in our eyes, in our tears, in our smiles, in our scars. Here, in this physical world, we can only hope to be but a dim reflection of the Lord. One day, we shall meet Jesus “face to face.” Will He see the mirror of Himself in us? If our reflection is true, then we will know His full Beauty, as we dwell with Him forever, His image surpassing the likeness of ourselves in the mirror of His grace.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity;
O my Savior divine, All my being refine,
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.²
1 Author unknown, http://www.hymnary.org
2 Albert Orsborn, http://www.hymnary.org
(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/20/15) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word