I was in the fifth grade when I started taking piano lessons. Fifth grade was the year I started middle school, and probably the year that I started looking in all the mirrors, so piano became this amazing thing for me, as it was the only way in which I remember being encouraged creatively. Ms. Stewart was my teacher, and I remember on our first meeting, I did not think she was attractive. She was a voluptuous woman with medium build. She wore red lipstick which occasionally smeared onto her teeth, and she had longer dark brown hair that she curled. She looked like a personality if you know what I mean, but she was a nice Christian lady who dressed modestly. There was just something about her that was different from the women I was used to.
As I took piano lessons, my heart and her appearance started to change. No, her appearance did not really change. Everything about her looked the same, but I saw her as beautiful. It was because I loved her. It was the first time I realized that a heart is the not the same as the outside.
When we went to Disney World, the younger two kids and I were sitting on a bench eating a snack, and a special needs man on a wheelchair came driving up to us and gave us Mickey Mouse stickers. He was the happiest, most beautiful person I have seen in a while. He conversed with us, and then drove away. I was hoping the kids would see him too, you know with heart eyes, not their eye-eyes. I chatted with them for a bit, but neither had found him strange or unusual – that they voiced to me anyway.
I don’t have special needs kids, but I have friends who do. Listening to their stories and watching their children has taught me about image anomalies. Those are the people who the world would not necessarily call beautiful, but that seem to understand the world the most in so many ways – like how to treat people and how to look in the mirror without shame. Now, certainly these people do not have it easier. The world is always shunning and shaming them and trying to get them to confirm to the world’s mirror.
Because I am a Matrix fan, I see these image anomalies as a “glitch in the Matrix.” The Matrix (a movie from 1999) quote says this, “ A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.” I see these “glitches” not as a glitch but as something special God has given us to see what life could be like if we saw with our heart eyes too.
The most beautiful man to walk the face of the earth was Jesus, yet Isaiah says this of him, “Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from rock-hard ground. He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence—he had no physical beauty to attract our attention.” The image of God had no physical beauty of which to attract our attention. Yet He is all that is beautiful.
I guess Jesus, Himself, was an image anomaly. Surely these image anomalies exist purposefully to teach us true beauty.
“Take no notice of his looks or his height. He is not the one, for the Eternal One does not pay attention to what humans value. Humans only care about the external appearance, but the Eternal considers the inner character.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (the Voice)
This post is one in a 31 day series of posts called Image Reflections: asking questions of being. You can see all the posts by clicking here.
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