Battle scars from fighting the voice, which names, blames and shames, like shards of glass piercing through my mind. This voice, in combat with the Voice, the Voice which fashioned my being into existence. My voice for His Voice, cheap sounds for the dulcet tones of a King.
Because one look in the mirror and I see that I’m not like her. One look and I see an image far from the standard my mind hopes to perceive, far from my own standard of holiness that I’ve conceived. One look and all I see is countless failures and skin too marred to be pure.
And I circle around this mirror, day after day, with my perfectly marked measuring line to measure just how far I am from where I would have myself be. But time does not befriend me, only increasing the distance between my current state and my goal. And as time passes, the deeper I am pierced.
But the truth I evade to recognise is that who I am, my personality, is a gift. A gift to be cherished, to be explored, to be celebrated, to be rejoiced in and purified in the flame of His Spirit.
We all possess this gift. And a gift from the Giver demands that we stop condemning or belittling it, and allow Him to renew it within us so that we may use it for His Kingdom.
We may not be the quietest or the most gentle. We may like to laugh and shout loud. We may possess a feisty spirit or are radical in the way we live. But each character trait is a gift. We often equate spirituality with someone who is quiet and restrained, and so if our personality is contrary to this, we condemn who we are, determining our insufficiency.
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them..”
Mark this truth; He never created any one of us the same. And upon each of us He lavishes different gifts, different personalities. So we must accept the gift offered to us, that we may grow to learn how we can utilize it for His glory and how we can use it to minister grace to others, for these gifts He will use to save many people in this world. Because the whole world is not quiet and restrained, many in the world are loud and fiesty and radical. Our personality qualifies us to be weak to those who are weak.
To believe we are made in His image, is to believe that we are displaying who He is, even when I’m loud, even when I’m laughing so much I cannot breath. Let the quiet display His quietness; let me display His enthusiasm and radical love!
Plagued with this pride that labors for people to recognize us as spiritual, as holy people for the Lord, may we skin our knees pleading for His grace to destroy this wall of pride. Let us allow ourselves just to be. Just to be who He made us to be. Just to be the gifts He bestowed upon us. That we may purify our motives and intentions that they may become unadulterated and point solely towards Him.
I observed a man. How he held nothing back from his personality, how he was loud and audacious and spoke with words attracting great laughter. How he never tried to be quiet or reserved or anything that he wasn’t, instead he was completely himself. And in the wholeness of himself, he was Christ. In that acceptance of himself, I saw Christ.
Thus, one look in the mirror reflects only the mere flesh of myself, but one look into Christ to see my own reflection, is to see me whole, to see my real self, myself through His eyes. Where my imperfections are eclipsed by glory in the light of His eyes. Where He rejoices over me with singing and delights in my beauty. For in His eyes I am accepted. In His eyes I am known, in His eyes I am deeply respected, for all that I am.
“Being free, each human being realises the divine human image within himself in his own distinctive fashion.”
– Bishop Kallistos Ware