Friday, February 22, 2008

Just As I Am

Just As I Am

One of my favorite hymns is "Just as I am, without one plea". It came to mind last night as I was sorting through the pictures I have taken on this journey. I really don't like to look at pictures of myself. Even when I was a child, I often appear awkward and goofy, at least to me. When I see others in pictures, I revel in their beauty and how photogenic they are, but I am always dissatisfied with my own image. I criticize myself for my shape, my smile, the look on my face, my messy hair, my general awkwardness in the world. I was struck finally by my own self centerness, and how God is much more concerned with how much I love than with how much perfection I present in any moment or picture. So here's a prayer for all of us who struggle with who we are, how we look and get ashamed or provoked by our visible (and invisible) imperfections.

Dear God,
You take me just as I am because you made me, just as I am.
You created the sun, wind, oceans and stars in their infinite
Variety and beauty, just as they are
And you have made each person, every child, every one of us
The creation you would have us to be.
Help me to be thankful for you loving me
Help me to see how you love me as a good parent loves their child.

O God, I ask you to help me to keep my eyes on you
Help me to turn away from wishing I was somewhere else
somewhere different, or made in a different way.

Help me to see with your eyes and heart
So I may turn and see your creation and all the people around me
with the eyes and heart of a loving creation
And I might reach out my hands in love.


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