Monday, January 17, 2011

Beauty

I receive a monthly newsletter from The Voice of the Martyrs (if you don't receive it, I recommend you contact them to do so - it's free - www.persecution.com). This month, the cover is a picture of a woman, Yubelina, from Indonesia. She was burned in an attack by Muslims on her Christian village.

Her skin is splotchy & ranges in color from light brown to red to white. Much of it is leathery. Her nose is disfigured. She has a purplish-colored patch of skin in between her bottom lip & the bottom of her chin. Her upper lip is peeling. Her left eye is white & red; her pupil is clearly no longer able to see.

But she is smiling. A huge smile. Joy radiates from her. Why?? She must receive stares. Children are probably afraid of her. The world would call her damaged. Ugly.

Yubelina has figured out where her identity lies. She is a treasured child of the King. She has traded "a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning" (Isa. 61:3). Her smile reveals Jesus.

Yubelina is beautiful. I guarantee she has a joy, a contentment, that no name-brand, trendy clothing; no perfect haircut & makeup; no flawless skin or toned body can bring.

I want to be beautiful like that. I want my face to shine like Moses, because I have been in the presence of God. I want my treasure to lie in heaven & not in the tangible, the material. I want to be joyful & content & full of peace.

Jesus, make it so.

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10

14 comments:

Molly Swanson said...

I LOVE thsi post...amazing! Thanks so much Courtney! Thank your for this verse too..wow! BEAUTIFUL!

Amy said...

Saw your post on FB via VOM. Stopped by to say hi and wish you blessings! Oh yes, to have that joy despite all the thorns and worries that can drag us down here in our comfort and abundance.

:)

Amy

joybug56 said...

I look at her picture and I weep for the lack of "stand" I take..how many times in a day am I offended because someone may something not so nice about me because of my choice to be ye separate from the way of the world...I have yet to suffer for the true cause of Christ as this beautiful lady, Yubelina. In her own country and across the world her tremendous joy to suffer for the sake of Christ is made known...not to exalt her but to exalt Jesus Christ ..for who could but smile and have the joy that Yubleina has except it comes from an intimate relationship with her Saviour ... the son of the Living God ....Jesus Christ ....

joybug56 said...

I look at her picture and I weep for the lack of "stand" I take..how many times in a day am I offended because someone may something not so nice about me because of my choice to be ye separate from the way of the world...I have yet to suffer for the true cause of Christ as this beautiful lady, Yubelina. In her own country and across the world her tremendous joy to suffer for the sake of Christ is made known...not to exalt her but to exalt Jesus Christ ..for who could but smile and have the joy that Yubleina has except it comes from an intimate relationship with her Saviour ... the son of the Living God ....Jesus Christ ....

Shane Roberts said...

Hello from another Roberts in Alabama. Thanks so much for your blog, I read it after seeing it on VOM. I could not agree more, Yubelina has the kind of joy on her face that only our Savior Jesus Christ can give.

Thanks again

Julie said...

When I saw the photo, the first thing that jumped out at me was not the disfigurement but her radiant smile. She is indeed beautiful. Thank you for posting this blog.

Denita Ruhnow said...

Another FB VOM reader here, literally in tears as I read your beautiful blog post. When I saw the picture of our sister Yubelina, I was also struck by her joyful smile and especially by the light of hope and joy in her bright brown eye. But it was your plea to be like her that moved my eyes to tears. Oh yes, my sister in our Shepherd Jesus, oh yes, I want so desperately to have that same heart too...and yet I am also so very guilty of being offended at the most minor trespass, a if the world owes ME for it's existence...? Oh may that bitter root be scoured from me with blistering fire, may my body and soul be left as raw as Yubelina's face if such a sinful inclination were to flourish within me!!

Your post humbled and convicted me a hundred times over, and I praise our Almighty God for directing me to it, and the Hily Spirit for moving you to write. May you be blessed in Christ Jesus to fully possess that same beauty and heart that fills Yubelina's smile with radiant joy. And may all of us who seek the face of Christ possess the same!

Danielle said...

I caught your blog URL from VOMs facebook page. Such beauty in your words. Thank you for sharing your heart.

I love VOM and for someone to come at them for a picture that IS LIFE grieves my spirit.

Karen L. Brahs said...

I have been a recipient of VOM's newsletter for years now, and there are so many times I sit and weep over the atrocities that are committed against our brothers and sisters in dark nations. But, my reaction to the picture of Yubelina was so much different. Like you, I saw Jesus Christ and the joy of knowing Him that shined from her face.

One day, we will see her face in perfection, all the tears and the scars gone, and only her big smile remaining.

Jean Hunt said...

Courtney....your blog was beautiful....thank you so much for so eloquently stating what should be so evident to fellow believers when looking at that stunning picture of Yubelina.
You are an amazing young woman and witness for Christ.

Love you
Jean

Maxine said...

I have this newsletter and while a bit shocked when I first saw it, I have it on my desk and look at it over and over. Thank you so much for writing this wonderful post about it. I stopped over from the Persecution Blog.

Miri said...

Amen, amen, amen! Thank you so much for your passion God, and for sharing that with all of us. I, too, was greatly encouraged by that newsletter. The first thing that came to me when I saw Yubelina's face was a verse from the Psalms: "In Your presence is fulness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for evermore."
Praise the Lord that we can have His joy, no matter what our outward circumstances are, just by resting in His presence!

Abby Rogers said...

I completely agree with you, thank you so much for posting this! I will be reposting this on my own blog with a link to this one.

xTraveler said...

The recent VOM magazine shares that many were offended by Yubelina's photo and have asked to be removed from their mailing list. So sad that people have missed the point you so well state here. We all need to dust off our church history and remember the martyrs before we take for granted the Life we've been given.