Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sorry Saturday: Let's Focus (or not) on Cold Sores


Last night I told my daughter Allison we would be going to the Cedar Falls writing group "if I didn't look too hideous in the morning." I was just starting to get a cold sore and I wasn't sure what it was going to look like today.

I slathered on Abreva before bed and prayed for the best. It was noticeable this morning, but I decided it wasn't too bad to venture out in public.

I would have missed out on a great meeting if I had stayed home just because of a little spot on my lip. 

We are pretty vain people, aren't we? 

We worry about what people will think of us if we aren't dressed the right way or if our hair isn't just so or if we have a big zit on the end of our nose (or a cold sore gracing our bottom lip).

I've gotten over most of that. I don't wear makeup. I don't mind going in a store in jeans and an old sweatshirt on a Saturday. I never spend much time on my hair, but physical imperfections bother me.

Cold sores, big pimples, and other abnormalities make me feel extremely self-conscious.

I remember a couple of years ago at the Breathe Christian Writers Conference in Michigan. I had a problem with my eye. It was sore and extremely red. I could hardly talk to my friends because I was sure they couldn't stand to look at me or were worrying I had pinkeye and would infect them if they got too close. 

I skipped a workshop and went to the eye doctor and found out I had a contact stuck in my eye and it was getting infected. (When I got back to Iowa I figured out I also had an old one in the other eye. What is wrong with me!?)

Even after I knew my problem was temporary, it was hard to show my face at the conference.

We need to remember that what is important is what is inside of us.

Of course, we want to look nice most of the time, but physical imperfections do not have to bother us so much that we don't want to spend time with people.

Cold sores and infected eyes are temporary.

What about people who have permanent "flaws"?

Scars, skin diseases, missing limbs, drooping muscles after a many things can mar our physical beauty and make us self-conscious.

If we learn to put more effort into becoming beautiful on the inside, maybe we'll be able to make peace with the physical flaws that are part of who we are.

God loves us just as we are. He knows every cell of our bodies and he loves every inch of us. 

Some people will stare at our flaws and stay away if it makes them uncomfortable, but the people who love us will never go away. They will love us for who we are inside. A missing limb or scar just becomes part of how they know us and it doesn't matter a bit.

They can even look past a giant zit or an ugly cold sore, I'll bet. 

(image from

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (Psalm 31:30 NIV)

Do physical flaws make you feel self-conscious? How can focusing on God help you to make peace with the imperfections that bother you and move ahead confident that God sees you as beautiful, inside and out?

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