Tuesday, August 2, 2011
U is for Ugly
is for Ugly.
Now, I must admit that the letter U had me stumped for a very long time. Well over a month. I did not want to go with umbrella, or unicorn, or anything starting with "un". I had to wait until something inspired me. With the current heat wave I am not getting inspired by much, so the challenge was great.
Today it hit me:
Not the word you would expect me to devote a post to. This blog is about the "Silver Lining", and the whole concept of that is supposed to be positive. Is there anything positive in such a word as ugly?
I think so.
The first thing I think of is the old adage, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Well, isn't the same true with ugly? Be it dogs, decor, or even people, we all have different ideas about which one is pretty or ugly.
I have a scar.
It is quite large, and in reality is shaped much like the letter U. By the world's standards it is undesirable, unattractive, and ugly (three Us). But think about this. That one scar on my body is a reminder of the grace of God, a reminder of surviving what I later learned was a cancer that was very much not in my favor, and very much a smile from God. (You can read about 'A smile from God" here)
During our summer youth conference we sometimes have a small group ice breaker called "show me your scar". It is amazing that people young and old really like the opportunity to tell the story about their physical scars. You will hear stories about bicycle accidents, sports injuries, and surgeries. There is something about talking openly about what people are taught never to discuss or question. It is rather "freeing". It seems to turn what one would think of as being ugly into a story. I just happen to have a visible scar close enough to my face that makes it seem a taboo subject to talk about.
I will admit that in the weeks following surgery, I was quite concerned about the appearance of this scar, and even blogged about my thoughts regarding it. You can read those initial thoughts here. But as time has passed and admit-tingly, as the scar and my opinion of it have improved, I realize that is is quite beautiful in many ways.
I do not think of it as ugly anymore. Truth be told, sometimes I forget I have it, and sometimes it takes me noticing that someone else, a stranger, is fixated on it before I stop to think about it.
I have taken this to heart. When I see a scar on someone else, especially if it is large, or facial, or what some would call dis-figuring, I try to remember that there is a story behind it. That perhaps that scar has saved their life, that perhaps that scar is a reminder of a serious event that has changed them, but I will never think it as being ugly.
If ugly is also in the eye of the beholder. Let's behold beauty instead.