i had a conversation with someone earlier today.  one that ive had with myself more time than i can count.  and i came to realize that we are all, our own worst critic.  and because we berate and beat ourselves so, because we’re so hard on ourselves, we never truly see the beauty that’s being created inside of us.

we never realize that our scars, are the very things that give us our beauty.  we never realize that our stories, our stories of hope, of battle, of victory… of loss, of pain, and of abandonment…these stories weave together to create in us the very things that make us beautiful.  these stories are a part of who we are, and when we look at them separately, when we dissect them and take then apart piece by piece.  we lose.  always.

if you look at the parts of who i am, i am a failure. if you were to take apart my relationships, my job, my history, my passions, my sins… and review each one, i would be found faulty, broken and without defense.

my stories would each, individually, persuade you that i am a failure.  a broken, overly emotional man with a serious fear of commitment.  these stories, in and of themselves, would tell you im damaged, un-whole, and unwholesome.  unable to love, and unlovable.

hydrogen, helium and other elements.   thats it.  that, in its barest form, in its individual parts, is a star.  hydrogen, helium and other heavier elements.  cosmic leftovers.  and in and of themselves, useless.

but if you stand back, just a bit and take in the bigger picture, you’ll realize that a star is more than that.  you’ll realized that it was placed there, by a hand much larger than yours.  you’ll realize that it’s not just one star, but billions.  and you’ll realize that with your naked eye, you hardly see the tiniest percentage of whats out there.

you’ll realize that a star is more than the sum of its parts.  its more than hydrogen or helium.  you’ll realize that just one star, points the way north and has been used by humans for centuries to navigate by.

stars, together, have told stories, been the stuff of myths and legends, acted as omens, and a sign of things to come.  one star, even heralded the coming of the One who knows each one by name.

im not perfect.  far from it.  in fact, in the lens of grace, you’d see every one of my imperfections.  you’d see how truly unlovable, and unable to love i am.  you’d see me for how wretched of a person i am.

but its this very lens of grace, that cost the life of the only perfect person who ever walked this earth, its this very lens… that deems me lovable, whole, and able to love.

so yes, if you take my life apart, i am broken.  i am damaged and unholy.  i am loveless and unlovable.

but if you take a step back, and see my life through the lens of grace, if you see your life through the lens of grace… you’ll see the beauty that i’m learning exists in us all.  you’ll see your scars not as ugly, but as testaments to who you are.  to how far you’ve come, and to who this One is, who promises to heal the broken hearted.

i may have a long way to go to become the person that grace tells me i can, but i want to.  because grace is amazing.  grace makes me beautiful, and it makes you beatiful.  and more than anything, i want to see that beauty.

Chris Tomlin: Amazing Grace – My Chains Are Gone