"What once was hurt / What once was friction / What left a mark / No longer stings... Because Grace makes beauty / Out of ugly things / Grace finds beauty in everything" --closing lyrics of the song "Grace" by U2
"Morning by morning new mercies I see..." --the old hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" by Thomas Chisholm
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them...and said, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" --Luke 24:2-4, 5b
Do you ever have a day when you just feel ugly? And I don't mean physically ugly. I mean ugly inside--grumpy, frustrated, angry, impatient--a "slam-the-door and holler" kind of day?
I've had a few of those of late. Not everyone has them, I suspect, but plenty do. For me, when I get to the end of the day that's been lousy, when I've felt irritable and angry and impatient, the temptation is to look back on the day and say, "What a waste of a day," and then feel even *more* ugly inside. Not often enough do I have the spiritual fortitude to look back on it all and take a deep breath and let it all go. Not often enough do I remind myself that God's grace is always moving in and around me, seeking to draw out the beauty and transform the ugly. Not often enough do I remind myself that the next morning, by the grace of God, I'll encounter new mercies, fresh glimpses of God's goodness.
How's this for an affirmation of faith: There is no "ugliness" that, ultimately, will not be transformed by the overwhelming grace of God.
Blessings on you,
Prayer: God of daily mercy, when shadows fall over me and I feel "ugly", may your renewing grace seep into my soul and reveal the goodness underneath. Amen.