My daughter told me this very funny and cool story. Yesterday, didn’t start out the best for her. She started the day away at college, a little homesick, and feeling a little sad. She went to the school coffee shop and was just hanging out writing in her journal. Suddenly a very ballsy college male came up to her and said, “Hey, I don’t mean to bother you or be creepy but you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen!” I have got to hand it to this dude. He knows beauty when he sees it, and he has a huge amount of guts to say what he said to her. I respect him for it, and I thank him for it because it made my beautiful daughter feel incredible to be recognized for the beauty God had given her.
Now this guy is not the first person to tell my daughter that she is beautiful. Aleta and I have been telling her this fact for years. But even though we need our moms and dads to say we are beautiful, it’s still hard to believe it. We’re pretty sure our moms and dads see us through “mom goggles” – where every part of us is graded on an unreasonable positive curve. My daughter has heard she is beautiful for years, but it takes someone in addition to mom & dad to come along and say the same thing, for the truth of her beauty to become very real to her. She needs mom & dad, and she needs others confirming what mom & dad are saying.
My daughter’s experience reminds me of why Jesus inserts me into the church. Yes, churches are loaded with flawed people who can hurt me, and it can be terrifying to be vulnerable with other flawed people. And yet, I need these flawed people to come along and tell me what God has been telling me along but I haven’t believed because the truth that “God loves me” feels too much like my mom telling me that I’m handsome. I need to know that God loves me, in addition I need God’s people to come along and say the very same thing in ways that mean something to me so that the truth of God’s love for me takes root in my heart.