Silk Purse

silk purseMy father is a funny man! I love him dearly but he believes heavily on telling the truth, and doesn’t understand that you can use tact to tell the truth and deliver your opinion or your point gently to people. He once told me while we were looking at my university graduation photo proofs, and I was not pleased with them that, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Honestly, could there have been a nicer way to deliver this message, such as, love the way God made you? Nope! Not with my father!

We are all very hard on ourselves. The way were look, the way were are built, the way we talk. I am blessed with a great metabolism, and never have to watch what I eat or drink. Plus having ten years of standing on my hands under my belt, I just have naturally toned arms. Or maybe it is from lifting girls in the gymnastics gym that are the same size as me. Either way, weight gain and body toning is not on my worry list.

I have these beautiful friends that are constantly putting their bodies down. They don’t like their thighs, they don’t like their arms. The other day, I actually had one of my friends tell me that she might start walking so that this summer she can wear a tank top. This lady is stunning! She has the most beautiful blue eyes that are mesmerizing, and here she is picking herself apart! It really struck me funny that this absolutely beautiful woman, inside and out, would be putting herself down in any manner. Her arms? Really…people won’t wear tank tops in the heat of the summer because they don’t like their arms? This took my heart and drove daggers into it!

My father made fun of my looks, and I made fun of his, that is how we rolled! “What happened to your nose Dad? Did you run a hundred meter sprint in a ten meter gym?”—was always my favorite come back! His nose is a bit flattened against his face, but again, it never fizzed my dad.

One time when I worked at a local golf club for a summer job, I came up to visit my dad at the bar and I snuck up behind him where he was sitting, kissed him on the top of his bald head, and hugged his shoulders. At the same time this man who was about ten years older than me asked in a very surprised tone, “You are Calvin’s daughter? Man, your mother must be a real knock-out!”—What? Whoa, whoa, whoa! It was ok for me to make fun of my father’s looks, but it wasn’t nice for anyone else! My dad is adorable.

In all honesty, he might not be the most handsome man, but he has such a way about him. He is just always so joyful, and happy, even though I torment him now on being a grumpy old man. What? I still have to have some fun with this old man. Don’t worry, he still dishes it back to me. Again, that is how we roll. But really, if you met him, you would agree that he beams when he walks in any room. He has confidence in who he is and it shines from his pores! There is just something about him. The fact that I’ve been a daddy’s girl all my life probably definitely boosts the way I look at my dad, but I think he is adorable.

If you have children and they put themselves down in any way, isn’t it heart wrenching? You think they are the most beautiful creations, why wouldn’t they see in themselves what their mother or father see? Well, God thinks the same thing of you when you put yourself down. He thinks you are a beautiful creation too, perfect just the way he made you. He loves you just the way you are! In 1 Samuel 16:7 it guarantees us, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” People that you want in your life and surrounding you are the same as this verse—looking at your heart…not your arms.

Once you feel the love for yourself, the rest of the people will follow because all you will shine is God’s light, just like my dad. Nobody will notice the little imperfections that you might have. We all have to find that confidence that my 65 year old, flat nosed, bald, five foot nothing father has, and love who we are, and the way we were made. Our bodies, our smile, our eyes, even our arms! My friends—you are all beautiful!