My kitchen windowsill was the perfect picture of springtime. It needed no improvement (or so I thought), bedecked with a single, slender white tulip and flanked by a cheerful bud vase sporting a woody sprig of flowering hawthorn.
My teenager begged to differ. That evening, as we rounded the bend on a stroll through the park, she dashed toward a clump of tall grass replete with bright dandelions. Despite my protests, she gathered an entire bouquet. The instant we got home, she naturally plunked her vaseful of dandelions in the place of honor on the kitchen windowsill.
“What?!” she declared in response to my sidelong glance. “They’re pretty! Whoever decided they were weeds, anyway? Clearly that person wasn’t looking hard enough.” Gaining steam, she continued, “just because a random person decided they only wanted perfect green grass doesn’t mean that dandelions are bad. People even used to use them for medicine!” Her endearing rationale and exuberance charmed me enough to oblige her bouquet’s tenure–at least for a few days.
And for the next few days, each time those dandelions caught my eye, I wondered at the beauty of my teen who was able to see past the common consensus to behold the Creator’s view.
With this wonder, a whisper of the Holy Spirit wiggled its way into my heart. A questionably-defined weed, I understood, was far from the greatest ill-conceived consensus plaguing our world. The most destructive assumptions about dignity are pointed directly at the pinnacle of Creation: human beings themselves.
When you look in the mirror do you let yourself see beauty?
Or do you harbor words of criticism, demeaning yourself as a “weed?” If so, (in the words of my teen), whoever decided you were a weed?
Certainly not your Creator.
Most definitely the enemy–spurred on by anyone he could convince to join his poisonous bandwagon. The sly serpent plays dirty, and he especially especially use our loved ones who we’ll listen to or the people we most admire to pollute our paradigm. This noise naturally creates doubt about our true dignity. And the doubt then convinces us we that we must make up for our perceived “weediness;” that we must try to manufacture our own worth in other ways: through material appearance, degree of usefulness, list of accomplishments, or satisfaction in relationships.
Such counterfeits and quick fixes, tough, can’t be sustained. They simply lead to lower esteem and greater problems down the line.
As such, it’s my growing realization that literally every problem in this life boils down to one thing: not fully receiving God’s love for us.
To receive His love, we have to be in relationship with Him.
Relationship with Him is prayer (CCC2558)—and regularly receiving the sacraments.
We dodge God’s love (and by proxy, this relationship called prayer) because those lesser things—human relationships, accomplishments, and material gains that “bolster” our appearance—seem easier to invest in or have a quicker [temporary] return.
But these things in lieu of prayer are idols. Not because God wants to deprive us, but in fact because He knows the “love” we try to get out of material things and fallible people has serious limits. It can never fully satisfy us—and when we try to make it satisfy, it will systematically enslave us.
Thankfully, there is another way. Just as my daughter taught me, communion with the Creator breaks us out of worldly paradigms to see His view–to recognize His overarching truth, His definition of beauty, and His abundant goodness for what it truly is.
That communion can start–or re-ignite–right now.
If you’ve been dodging prayer and hiding from the fullness of unlimited Love, stop for a moment. Look in the mirror and let yourself consider the infinite Love with which your Creator loves you. Look for the beauty He has literally written into your being. He didn’t have to make you, but He chose to—purely to lavish His love upon you.
If it wasn’t true, your reflection wouldn’t be looking back at you.
You don’t have to keep running from lasting fulfillment. Make some time and space today for prayer, and begin to receive His love.
If you’d like to discover a new depth of relationship with the Lord and grow in real confidence in your God-given identity, check out The Well Mentorship Program with Blessed is She! We’ve just opened a new round of registration for this transformational 8-week program of Intimacy + Identity with the Lord, starting in June. You can enjoy 10% off with the code MEGAN10OFF.
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