Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What is Beautiful?

Every heard the saying "beauty is in the eye if the beholder". It's true. In the US, certain colors are fashionable. Certain jewelry. Certain mannerisms. Put them together and there is the cultural ideal of what is beautiful and what is not. In Nepal, a nose stud is beautiful. Most women and girls have them along with multiple ear piercings. Earrings are more common amongst men and boys. Showing the midrif for women wearing a sari is entirely acceptable. Cleavage is not. Dots strategically placed have great meaning. A child placed yellow petals on my head and said it was beautiful. Marigold petals are used in worship by the hindus. You will see men walking about with a single petal at the top of their head or tucked behind their ear. Garlands of flowers mean great honor. In my culture, soft colors can be beautiful. Here, when I bought sheets or towels of gentler hues...the people here did not think them so beautiful. They looked old. Bright, blaring colors in a land of hand laundry appropriately indicates new "beautiful" purchases. So, I'm learning what is beautiful here. Sometimes what I wear and do would be "beautiful" in my country, but not here. I have to learn. As Christians, we live in the world, but not of it. We are born into a different culture while remaining in this one. God's definition of what is beautiful is different. We have to learn to suit Him even if that is different from what we've known. There are things a Christian is to clothe himself in, that the natives will not find attractive or "beautiful". God's bride, the church, is being clothed to suite Him; but when He was here in the flesh, those very attributes led Him to be despised and rejected by the culture of this world. What does God find beautiful? Which cultures acceptance do you have? Which one will you seek? When you see Him face to face, will you suite Him? Will you be like Him? Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fear the Lord, she shall be praised. Provers 31:30 P.S. What would you say if I came back with a nose stud? :)

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