No, he did not have a crush on me. That’s what they always told girls like me, that and the ugly duckling story. I was overweight with a head full of frizzy hair, and big coke bottle glasses that made me look bug-eyed and a little stupid. When he said it, he meant it.
Despite my precarious vision, I fled around the side of the building into the blackness of the back yard—no lights to see here, either ugly me or my ugly tears. I would never have gone back there for any other reason—it was far too scary and I tripped over things right in front of me even in broad daylight, but that dark, shadowy place was where I thought I belonged, because I had seen myself in the mirror and I believed him. I had also heard several adults talk about my “ugly glasses,” and what a shame it was I had to wear them. What they didn’t realize was since I could not see at all without them (a +17.5 prescription), they were as much a part of me as my nose or any other part of my face. They were my eyes, and if they were ugly, so was I.
Child psychology has come a long way. We know that children believe what others say about them. If you tell a child he is bad, he will live up to it. And if you tell a little girl she is ugly, it will take her decades to get over it.
So why do we do this thing to ourselves? Why do we go on and on about being “only human,” as if being made in the image of God were a bad thing? Why do we constantly tell one another we are “not perfect?” Why do we introduce ourselves as “sinners?” Okay, maybe it is a humility thing, but I see too many times when it is something else entirely—it’s an excuse for not doing better. And the more often we give ourselves those excuses, the more often we will need them.
Listen instead to the Word of God:
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Rom 8:16.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…Eph 2:10.
And, having been set free from sin, [you] have become servants of righteousness, Rom 6:18.
…But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God, 1 Cor 6:11.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, 1 Pet 2:9.
That’s what you are—God’s work, God’s children, chosen, royal, holy, righteous, sanctified. Tell yourself that every morning. Look in the mirror and say the words aloud. We are “called saints” right along with those Corinthian brethren, 1 Cor 1:2. Stop calling yourself a sinner all the time. If that is what you believe, that is what you will do, and then find yourself running back into the darkness trying to hide from it all.
Turn on the light and call yourself by the names God does. This is an “Ugly Duckling” story that has really come true. You are His child, and that makes you beautiful.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure, 1 John 3:1,2.