Foul & ugly – that’s me

Past month or so has been rough.

Not life. Life always has its good and not-so-good, but God is gracious, and I’m alive with a roof over my head, my family, my health, my job, my car, food to eat, and endless luxuries that so many don’t get.

Past month (or so) has been rough because I suck. I’m a terrible human.

How weak, oh how weak I truly am. Why is it so difficult to change? Why do I know what I want to change in my head, but when the opportunities arise, I fail? Every single time?

Why am I still so selfish? What are the roots of these bitter feelings and grudges? Why are they even here at all? Why am I so ungracious? Why are my insides nothing but ugly?

Why do I care so little about the important things, the important people? Why do I care so much about the wrong things and distractions?

My inner peace has been deeply disturbed lately. I am in constant turmoil from this exhausting brawl between who I want to be and who I am.

It’s been making me think that maybe I should just be a hermit for awhile. I’ve been wondering if I just need to hide for a bit to recuperate. But, I know that’ll only make me worse.

So, lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own ugliness, of how I am must truly be scum. It often puts me at the edge of despair. I question if any kindness and compassion I think I have is a facade. I question if I am actually capable of any kindness and compassion at all. Ah, I’m coming face-to-face with despair at this point.

On my way to church this morning, “Beautiful Things” by Gungor played.

Could a garden come out from this ground, at all?

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

I’m ugly. Yes, indeed, I am ugly beyond words.

But, here, God reminds me that He takes my ugliness and makes something beautiful. He reminds me that even though my bones ache for sin, He makes beautiful things, even out of someone as dirty and nasty as me. And, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes, coming from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful.

I am foul. So foul. So foul that I often don’t want to look at myself. So foul that I am often fighting my self-loathing. So foul that I often want to burn bridges and cut ties.

But Christ, He is my Light. God is making me new. He is far from done when it comes to me.

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