Ugly People


So I have a problem with my local church. My problem is that I’m one of the ugliest people who go there. And it’s a biiigg church. This is problematic primarily because there are plenty of ugly people in the area and they aren’t proportionally represented in our local church. If we really accept all people the way we say we do (that being without regard for how much or little value the World puts on them) then I think ugly people would feel just as welcome as anyone.

And understand that I don’t mean to say that any church verbally rejects people based on physical appearance (although other terms of worldly value, like sinfulness, may cause you to be rejected from churches); however, nonverbal cues comprise some 90% of our communication so even if we don’t tell people, “get out, you don’t look good enough” in those words, verbatim, we may be saying the same thing via our dishonest politeness (we ugly people are good at detecting rejection or reluctant acceptance, even when cleverly disguised).

All of this is a problem. The other problem is the misconception that we shouldn’t call people ugly. If a person is physically ugly and we tell them they’re not, we are liars. Plain and simple. The problem isn’t that they’re ugly–the problem is that we don’t accept ugly people. The problem isn’t that we tell them they’re not attractive. It’s that we tell them they’re not attractive enough.

If we tell an ugly person they’re pretty, we’ve given them something other than God and themselves in which they can put their identity. They’re putting their identity in a lie. They think they can be loved for something or someone that they are not. This is known as flattery and for all practical purposes I would think it would apply to non-ugly people as well. They think their reason for being loved is that they look a certain way.

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to let a person think that they’re physically unattractive and show that we love them anyways. That they don’t have to look a certain way to fit in. Could you imagine? Perhaps ugliness isn’t as insulting as our society has made it out to be? Perhaps physical attractiveness, like wealth, intelligence, or any other concept that leads us to believe we have power in our world and control over our reality is all a lie. Maybe we’re not the gods we think we are over our little realms? Perhaps this is the same lie that the snake told the first people in the garden: “Eat of this fruit and you will be like gods.”

Perhaps the first people were terrified that God wouldn’t love them if he saw that they had failed to earn God’s love for the first time. Perhaps that’s why they hid themselves. “Who told you that you weren’t good enough for my Love?” Is that what God’s asking us?

All I know is that since the beginning of time people have prided themselves on how much they have and what they’re capable of, as if this is why they should be loved and respected. And since the beginning of time, God has favored the weak who have nothing to pride themselves in, as if to show humanity that he loves our non-fake bad parts infinitely more than he loves our fake good parts. We can’t earn this love by being good enough, strong enough, etc. We are what we are and that’s all it takes for God to love us (of course, he loves us too much to let us stay that way so he encourages us to grow but doesn’t make it a requirement for His Love).

Sometime I’ll tell you the tale of how I came to concretely realize this, but for now it’s time for work!

Think about this stuff. Srsly. And read the beattitudes for a glimpse of who has power in God’s Kingdom.


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