as many of you know, I’m an avid blog reader. and though I haven’t had much to update/share myself (sometimes it’s good when life is smooth and unhairy!), here’s something I do want to share, that I came across in my morning reading. (plus, it comes wrapped up in a crafty extended metaphor, which you know i can’t resist):

Like so many postmodern ideas, “love yourself just the way you are” is halfway true. Or rather, it’s a truth that’s been flattened out.

When we love someone or something, we do love it as it is… but we also want the best for it. Let’s say you love antique furniture. You go into a dark, dusty shop and find a beautiful oak desk tucked away in the corner. It’s covered in dirt and grime, and has been partly repainted an ugly yellow, and it has a couple of handles missing. Even so, you can see that it’s beautiful – in tough shape, but beautiful. You buy it and take it home. Do you love it as it is? Yes, definitely – that’s what moved you to buy it, take all the trouble of getting it in the back of your car, finding just the right spot for it in your house.

But are you going to leave it that way? Do you really love it “just” the way it is, with its mouse droppings in the corners of the drawers, and cobwebs around the edges? No – you’ll clean it up. Do you love it now? Yes, of course. But are you going to leave it with that awful yellow paint? No, you’ll strip off the old paint and refinish it. Are you going to leave it with missing handles? No, you’ll buy some new handles, maybe replace the whole set so that it matches.

….

But you did the refinishing because you saw that it was not what it could be and indeed should be – because you had an image of what it really was and loved it enough to want to get it there. People understand this. It’s why we call it a “labor of love” when people remodel old houses, or put in hours of labor transforming a weedy garden into a place of blooming flowers, or run bake sales to buy books and toys for their children’s classrooms. Love sees what the beloved is… and wants to help it be more than it is.

Yes, we should feel that we are worthwhile and precious just as we are – just as that oak desk was valuable even tucked away in the corner, covered in cobwebs. But we should also respect ourselves enough to recognize that we are not all that we could be or ought to be.

We should understand that we are broken people, broken by sin; and that we are blessed above all imagining that our Lord loves us so much that He won’t let us stay that way.

 (From the insightful blog www.hieropraxis.com)

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