Back on my first day of work, I pulled into the parking lot a bit disheveled you could say. I had shoes and a sweater in the backseat I still needed to put on and papers I needed to organize and take in with me. I arrived plenty early to allow time to gather myself, but to my shock and dismay, the program director happened to arrive at the same time as me…and park next to me…and stand right outside my car window waving enthusiastically at me and waiting for me to walk in with him.
Awkward! This poor man ended up standing there watching me attempt to put my shoes on, drop a few things, sheepishly grab a few scattered papers from my backseat, and all the while attempt to look like I was fully prepared.
I had completely forgotten about this frightening encounter, but at a goal-setting meeting I had with the director last week, he turned to me and said something to the effect of: “I have to admit, when I met you on that first day of orientation I thought you were super disorganized – dropping things, not fully dressed – and I was a little worried if you’d be able to handle the program. But I’ve realized since then that clearly I was mistaken.”
I just laughed and told him how he had flustered me in his unanticipated appearance at my door, because in reality, I’m a little bit OCD about being organized and planning and preparing for things.
But that conversation got me to thinking, how many times do I give off the wrong impression about who I am? How often do I look at people and see them with eyes of criticism? How often do I see myself as not enough?
I’d like the answer to be never, or even rarely, but in all honesty, I’m guilty of doubts and negative judgments of others, and especially of myself, much much more frequently.
I was pondering these things the other day when I came across a hidden little lake. The water was still and clear – so clear that the trees surrounding it were reflected perfectly and magically on its surface. I was mesmerized – had the lake not been there, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about the trees. But the image was gorgeous through the lens of that lake.
The water didn’t change what the trees were. It didn’t alter a single branch or flaw in their structure. It just radiantly glistened with their natural beauty.
I couldn’t help but think, that’s how our Father in Heaven sees each of us – radiantly glistening, perfectly reflected, our flaws and weaknesses masked by our beauty and potential. He never doubts or criticizes. He never overlooks us. He simply loves us as his children. There’s no other being who can ever see so perfectly who we are.
In a world where misjudgments and negativity are abundant, it’s humbling and oh so refreshing to know that if only we strive to know and love our Father in Heaven – in so doing learning to share his vision – we never have to worry about being anything less than beautiful!