Archives For beauty

(Maybe the spirit of the Hallmark channel has overtaken me, but this just felt like it needed to be said. Braveheart analogies the remainder of the week!).

Sometimes you just need to realize that you’re beautiful.

This is my oldest daughter Emma. Aspiring drummer. Hater of Barbies. First picked in backyard football scrums.

Elegant beauty.

I’ve always known that last part (and not just as an obligated father), but I’m not sure she’s ever thought of herself in that way. Until last week’s school play forced her into a role that suddenly had heads turning and cameras popping. Only then did she seem to subtly awaken to what I’ve been telling her consistently since she was too little to understand

she’s absolutely beautiful. (a 12 year old clone of her mother)

Beyond normal pre-teen insecurities, I think we all wrestle with wrong internal definitions. Past mistakes, unspoken insecurities, or unfortunate circumstances can cast a distorted reflection.

We are broken.

We aren’t good enough.

That’s what makes grace so amazing. That’s what makes the Father’s pursuit so astounding. And sometimes we just need to sit back and absorb the way our Daddy sees us.

Absolutely beautiful.

What You Don’t See

Erik Cooper —  November 30, 2010 — 1 Comment

We just received our stunning new family pictures. Not the Olan Mills tilt your head slightly to the left arms folded on the 70’s shag carpet with a fake forest on a vinyl pull-down studio photos.

Real pictures.

From our great friend and aspiring professional photographer Lois Solet.  We were absolutely blown away by what she captured.  The essence of our family completely visible in the millisecond click of a camera shutter.

Images courtesy of Lois Solet

As I scrolled through nearly 180 edited shots, I was overwhelmed by the sense of love. The joy. The potential. The life.

But then I had a momentary reality check. Like a 30 Rock Liz Lemon flashback, I remembered the totality of that two hour photoshoot in October.  I remembered what you don’t see.

My daughters arguing like Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin.  Me ignoring my wife’s staging request so I could update my Twitter status.  My five year old adamantly boycotting further poses like his Derek Zoolander modeling union concessions hadn’t been met. (Notice I didn’t throw my wife under the bus. She’s perfect).

All those imperfections edited out or never even captured at all. Or were they?

They more I looked, the more I realized…

These pictures aren’t beautiful because we successfully staged out all the flaws.  They’re beautiful because we’re willing (OK, at least some of the time) to admit we are flawed. Deeply flawed.

But how often do I fight the self-righteous temptation to manufacture an image that seems better than the truth? When all along, Jesus is waiting to do for us what we can never do for ourselves: Make us truly beautiful.

“God can’t stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers.
-Proverbs 15:8

God, may the image of who we appear to be always reflect the true beauty of who You are in us.

PS: Thanks for the fabulous pictures and unending editing Lois. You’re a friend like very few others.