One of my favorite things to do with Alice is to hold her up in front of a mirror. As soon as she locks eyes with her reflection, her face lights up in the biggest smile you can imagine.
“Look at that baby!” I croon. “Who’s that baby? Isn’t she the most beautiful baby you’ve ever seen?”
Yes! Alice’s expression says. That’s some baby, alright!
On one hand it’s a fun game to play . . .
. . . but it’s always struck me that there’s something deeper going on. At this age, Alice loves herself. She loves how she looks. She has no complaints to issue God-wards about the shape of her nose or her ears or the size of her cheeks. In her eyes, it’s all praiseworthy.
And she’s right.
God says in Isaiah, “Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, “What are you making”? or “Your work has no handles”?”
I have to confess I have said that. I’ve said “God, what did you make? Why can’t I be curvier? Why did you give me freckles? What were you thinking?” From about age 11 to my early 20’s, I had massive insecurities. My freckles were too freckly. My thighs were too huge. My feet were too big. For an entire year of my life I felt the need to wear oversized shirts that covered my butt, because certainly the shape of my butt wasn’t fit to be seen. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t praise God for what I saw. I didn’t rejoice in his creation like he wants me to.
Thank God I’ve gotten beyond a lot of that, and to a place where I do praise him for his work in me and his craftsmanship in forming my body. I do smile when I look in the mirror. He created me beautiful and unique, and I know he smiles on his creation.
Alice will probably go through periods of insecurity, doubting her beauty as all us women do at some time or another, and wondering why God didn’t make her differently.
But right now, she is utterly happy with what she sees.
And every time I see that pleased smile blossom on her face, I pray that she will always love herself. That she will recognize the beautiful work of the Master Potter when she looks in the mirror, and say in her heart “Good job, God. I’m beautiful!”