Sitting in the quiet early morning at my kitchen table, I sipped on my coffee and watched as God began to orchestrate an amazing show of color just for me. What was earlier an empty stage now has come to life as one by one the actors entered from the left and from the right, their costumes an array of bright colors and of fashionable design. I am talking about the beautiful variety of birds that God has brought to my feeders this morning. From the fiery red of the Cardinal to the bright orange of the Oriole, the soft blue and grey of the Bluejay, and the sunshine yellow of the Finch and a host of other extraordinarily outfitted birds. Each came as if on cue to perform in front of an audience of one. It was amazing to watch as each, in turn, gathered at center stage to show me how creative God is in their design.
I was so engrossed in the production before me that I didn’t even see the approaching menace that annoyingly interrupted my private show. It was a big black bird that careened onto the stage scattering the others into the air. I, in a huff, got up and banged on the window to scare him off. Then I sat and waited for the show to resume. One by one, the beautiful actors returned and so did my smile. Unfortunately, not long after, the big black monster returned as well. Now, I was really annoyed. How dare he ruin my show? I stood up and began to make my way to the window when suddenly the sun, which had been hidden behind the clouds, broke through and proceeded to illuminate the stage. There in front of me sat, not a big ugly blackbird, but a beautiful bird whose feathers glinted under the rays of the sun. His head was an array of iridescent blue, green, and purple, shimmering like a rainbow after the rain. I slowly sat back down and watched as this bird looked this way and that before taking flight, leaving the stage open for others to come. Now thinking about this bird and what I at first didn’t see as beautiful, until the sun revealed its subtle beauty, I now see that perhaps I had been too quick to make a decision based on that outward appearance with eyes that were clouded.
God reminded me of 1 Peter 3:3-4 which says “What matters is not your outer appearance – the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes – but your inner disposition” (MSG). As it had been with this blackbird, how often had I dismissed someone because they lacked the outward beauty, by the world’s standards? When we slow down and take the time to see people, through God’s eyes, we will begin to see the subtle beauty that comes from within. The blessing of experiencing an inner beauty that God has designed can be more jaw-dropping than just an outward beauty that is here today and gone tomorrow. What about you? Are you more concerned with the outward adornments of your own person or are you allowing God to cultivate a subtle beauty that comes from within? What will be illuminated when God shines his “Son” on you?