The above passage is from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. Lucy is reading through a book of spells so she can reverse a curse, and she runs across this spell, a spell that will make her more beautiful than anyone else in the world, including her sister. This story is strikes home for me, and I'm sure it does for other women as well.
It's no secret. I have a love-hate relationship with my body, that usually tends towards the latter. I have struggled with my body image for a very long time. Some days are better than others, most days are better than they once were, but I'm still not where I would like to be.
I change clothes and re-brush my hair hoping something will change. Hoping that I will look at the mirror and be satisfied. Hoping that one day when I pass a beautiful person I won't compare myself anymore.
This week I started reading a book called "Practicing Our Faith" a collection of essays about living out the Christian life. It deals with many interesting and challenging topics, and one of the essays was titled "Honoring the Body." In it the author, Stephanie Paulsell, writes about how God made us in His image and He made us beautiful.
I was particularly moved by a story she shared about a young woman who suffered from intense acne. She could not bear to go out with her friends because she was ashamed of her face. Her father asked her if he could show her a new way to cleanse herself. He brought her to the sink and told her to splash her face once and say "In the name of the Father," a second time "in the of the Son," and on the third "in the name of the Holy Spirit." Finally he said, "Look up into the mirror and remember that you are a child of God, full of grace and beauty."
I loved that. Too often I look at myself in the mirror and critique all that I see. I focus upon myself negatively and wish that I was different. I forget that by wishing that I'm telling God He made a mistake when He made me.
God made us beautiful. He made you beautiful. He doesn't make mistakes.
I'm trying to change things up at home. When I look in the mirror, rather than practicing spite and self-loathing, I thank God for making me. I thank Him for being my Father.
I posted the following verse on our bathroom mirror:
"As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3:12-14
I know my mornings would be different if I focused on clothing myself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and love instead of which jeans, t-shirt, sweater, socks, and shoes.
When Lucy finds the beauty spell in the magician's book she is tempted to read it as quickly as possible. She sees pictures of herself becoming the most beautiful woman and all the kings of the world are fighting for her hand.