The tube is just about dried up, but I pump it anyway, twirl out the last color, brush across lashes.

I want to be beautiful.

One of my earliest memories is when I thought I was…ponytail in hair, painted nails.

Mom had made me beautiful.

What happened afterward…that boy man who saw innocence and took it for himself…well, a big brush dipped in black slashed across soul and beauty was marred and I guess I’ve been trying to recover it ever since.

Or running from it.

That big black X said all sorts of things about me. It has been a task master, a slave driver. I’ve taken its message as truth.

But something happened somewhere along the way.

I encountered Beauty.

And as I draw closer to Him and awaken to words of Beauty, He whispers, “You don’t have to be beautiful; You can borrow Mine.”

“You don’t have to be good enough; You can have Mine.”

“You don’t have to try to be something more; You can have Me.”

And Beauty makes me beautiful.

I read the words and Beauty offers His cloak:

“Consider the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin.”

Those who allow Beauty to clothe, cease striving.

I can never rid myself of the black X. I don’t need to. Beauty tells me I can stop trying.

And flowers do this well while I miss it?

Oh no, I’ve been looking for Beauty all my life and here it is, that Pearl of great price. I’m not missing it this time.

“Yet I say to you that not even Solomon, in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”

Yes, I think I will learn from flowers, how to be clothed with beauty. How to stop striving and trying and piling things on to cover up the black.

“If God so clothes the grass of the field, will He not much more clothe you? Oh you of little faith!”

Perhaps I hold on to the seed, not allow the bulb to die because I’m afraid I’ll be left with nothing. I grasp tight, thinking to save what is, not believing in what is to be.

But all along, the bulb begs to begat the lily that becomes clothed with splendor that surpasses Solomon.

Will I hold on to the bulb, tuck it away, refuse to plant and trust and wait… and settle for store bought color instead?

Must I insist on paying?

Earned beauty is nothing more than a tube of color that eventually dries up.

The secret of real beauty is that it’s offered without cost. Beauty has been poured out, made available to us, generously and lavishly offered. Just like wings that soar and seeds that bloom and grass that softens our steps,  beauty is ours, no charge.

Unsheathed beauty is that seed which falls and dies to all self effort and striving…it takes the risk…it gives up and lets go…it releases it’s shell, undergoes decay…waits on the One who clothes the grass…and is brought forth in splendor.

[ Adj. un-sheathed: not having a protective covering ]

Oh soul-scarred one, let Him birth your beauty?

{I’m taking the risk.}


I would love the chance to attend a woman’s writer’s conference while we are in the states on furlough and am humbly entering with this post. If any of the other entrants happen by here, may I say I think you are beautiful? I have read a few dozen of the entries and have been so touched!  If you would like to learn more about the opportunity to win yourself, please see this post and check out the SheSpeaks website here.


3 Comments on “Un-sheathed”

  1. Carol Apgar says:

    Wow! This spoke deeply to me. So many connections here. Thank you for the heartfelt expression. HE is beauty beyond our most vivid imaginations!

  2. Hillary says:

    This post is mesmerizing. Thank you for touching such a vulnerable, deep place.

  3. […] I’m decaying, like that round lump. I’m unsheathed. […]

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