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“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)

I’ve actually seen someone walk into a fence to get away from me. It’s because I was born with a broken face. Despite some clever doctors doing their best to fix me, a facial disfigurement means my face looks quite different to most people.

So, when I go out, my appearance is a challenge for lots of people. I’ve got used to it… sort of. With the fence episode I responded the way anyone would: “What a strange thing to do…” I thought. So I meet a few people with a problem, but I know that I’m not the problem. Because these people have put value in the wrong place my scars trigger a reaction in them.

It must be challenging seeing someone in front of you with such a scarred face. Especially if you think deformity is ‘ugly and shameful’. But that’s not the way God sees me!

The Bible has a poem that talks about this. King David in Psalm 139:14 says: ‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ I don’t know if you struggle with the way you look, but this passage is a great comfort to me.

Yes, I was born with a broken face, but is there anything that’s not broken in this world? Ironically, none of us can see the most broken thing of all. The human heart is the place where the worst ugliness lives… sin – pride and rebellion toward God. When God made the world he said it was ‘very good’ then we humans gave into pride and wanted to be like God ourselves. Sin, brokenness, ugliness, all these scarred the world. Thankfully Jesus also came into the world, dying on the cross to remove the stain and ugliness of our sin before God.

So, the way any of us look now has nothing to do with how God views us. God doesn’t dislike us because of our weight or our scars. I know how much I’m worth to God just by looking at the cross where Jesus died for me. This is how much he loves me! This is how beautiful I am to God. I’d really love everyone to know these things. Truly, we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Belinda Downes.

Jesus, help me to see myself and others the way you really see us. Please forgive my sin, making me truly beautiful to God. Amen

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