Only occasionally do we see the beauty of what’s underneath the surface, because in our Western Society, we expend so much energy on physical beauty, that we miss out on the low-lying gems. Consequently, we train our psyche to interpret a person’s worth by their outer appearance.

Come on, be truthful! How many times have you made a quick-second judgment based on obvious appearances? Only infrequently, do we see the beauty of what’s underneath the overt.

One of my high school friends, Lisa Moore, is a photograpther and gave me permission to use her awe-inspiring picture featured in this post today. I was struck by the intricate, detailed, exquisite resplendence that way surpassed what is seen on the surface. I couldn’t help but jump to the metaphor of how we tend to forget the glamor of one’s soul and thus deprive ourselves out of appreciating that which really matters underneath.

We starve ourselves intermittently and perpetually, get nose jobs and other jobs, insist on botox and fillers incessantly, pierce anything and everything, all in the name of artificial beauty. In contrast, I recently read a word picture in the book, Gilead, by Marlynne Robinson. I nostalgically related to the message spoken by her main character about this timeless, judging on the surface phenomena.

“She had a strong sense that the population at large judged her character by what appeared on her clothesline, and I can’t say she was wrong.”

How about a challenge? Let’s take advantage of our aging process. Let’s cull our detrimental judging habits based on superficiality. As we become more cognizant of our decisions, what are the essentials we hold on to from the practices we’ve inherited, especially the unexamined ones? Culling stretches our vision, sifting out the judging debris. We are then able to be more authentically ourselves as we recognize the authentic beauty of others. We can triumphantly declare, “I see you!”

Are you quick to judge?

But the wisdom that comes from above is in the first place pure; and peace-loving, considerate, and open to reason; it is straightforward and sincere, rich in mercy and in the kindly deeds that are its fruit. True justice is the harvest reaped by peacemakers from seeds sown in a spirit of peace.

James 3: 17-18

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