I am thankful for ugliness. Something, we as people are taught to fear from the beginning. I don’t know why, but for as long as I can remember it has been the thing I most feared. Being seen as ugly. I grew up with best friends who are beyond thin. Friends who seemed to be everything I desperately fought to be. In my eyes, I was fat and lacking their tall thin bodies and willowy grace. They seemed to be the epitome of what society claimed to be beautiful, and I yearned to measure up next to them. Yet they too found themselves feeling as if they had fallen short. They too feared ugliness.
I grew up performing, singing, and competing in an elite children and youth choir. One day I thought that if I couldn’t be beautiful, maybe I could have the most beautiful voice. However, even then I feared the ugly sound of a wrong note, an out of place cut-off, and the jarring sound of drifting sharp or flat. I worked so hard to avoid this ugliness of sound that I spent all of high school trying to prove my worth by spending hours upon hours practicing. Yet again, no matter how I tried I still could not escape what I feared most.
For the longest time I thought that ugliness was the absence of beauty, but now I know better. I see now that what is feared is a lack of perfection, whatever that is that we yearn for on a surface level. We fear things that don’t fit the mold and refuse to see the true broken, depraved ugliness inside this world. Poverty, persecution, depression, hate, and the list just continues to grow as brokenness accumulates in this world.
So why am I thankful for ugliness, if it is even more deeply full of heart break than what I first believed? I am thankful for ugliness, because that is where we see the true grace of God. In our sin, brokenness, and hopelessness, that is where God meets us. He is there through the parts of our lives that we would rather pretend don’t exist. He is there when we are suffering due to our own foolishness, or even the foolishness of others. Christ came not to a beautiful perfect world, but to a broken world full of ugliness. I won’t say I am happy about the ugly things in this world, or the hurt people including myself, but I am thankful to see how God uses that to His purpose. Instead of seeing a lack of perfection, I see a place where God is, has, or will work to reveal beauty from what is deemed ugly by our broken world. For God redeems all things, and in Him all things are made beautiful.