The last 3 months of 2012 I spent taking a counseling ministry course through the University of Nations in Kona, HI, and it was through those ninety days that I came to fall in love with the beauty of my own humanity.
For most of my life I've battled finding appreciation and love for humanity. Growing up witnessing and hearing of the countless faults, weaknesses, negative behaviors and the unfailing promise that perfection is expected yet unattainable. Within a culture that depicts complete perfection and excellence as an indicator of achievement in whatever field a person pursues, this placed a horrible future promising only the destiny of failure and slim hope for true satisfaction. This has been a struggle over the years as I was entering a life calling and ministry that required me to love unconditionally; to love the beauty out of the ashes and to even bless the ashes.
The ministry of reconciliation with those called "destitute" has been a constant calling, yet so difficult for me to truly do with a cheerful heart. I the hardest block for me to overcome in that area was that I still couldn't love myself as a human, as God created me. Now, had you asked me I would have refuted that saying that I knew God created me, that He loved me unconditionally. However, it was only recently that I realized I've believed that I had to obtain some sort of achievement, or ranking, some level of "spirituality" or relationship in and with Him so that I could be truly acceptable to His service. This could not be further from the truth.
As I have had the revelation of His love for me in a new way these past few months I have come to a massive change of heart. A few days ago I was speaking with a friend here and was able to explain it in this way.
I have never felt so "human." I have also never been able to say I felt "human" without automatically attaching a negative, pessimistic, heart feeling with it - until now! When I shared with my friend that I have never felt so human it came from a place of complete peace, satisfaction, and joy. This is because the truth that I am God's masterpiece - just as I am- has never been more real to me. Although for years I have taught others about the beauty of who they are, of how He made us perfect and how He sees us as such - even in our weakest points, I was still only sharing from a place of knowledge and not true understanding.
Now I joyfully boast in my weakness, I willingly acknowledge my failures and know deeply that it is in this that God is so clearly glorified. Not only that, but I have discovered the intimate truth of His intense love both for me as an individual, and for all of humanity in it's humanness. Although humanity has fallen away from instant intimacy with God, we still are not and less beautiful nor condemned but through ourselves. God does not see us as failures, even in our rebelliousness, but rather He sees us as sons and daughters who are on a journey home. The term "perfection" I don't believe should be as definite as we make it. I believe it should be used only in the context of the beauty of God's love. We have come to believe that perfection is in a body type, a salary, a position or ranking, a personality or character type, and even in our performances. This definition of "perfection" is faulty - because the truth is that the uniqueness of every individual is what is perfect. This is what I believe God intended for us - to champion each person, big, little, skinny, fat, black, white, red, poor, rich, whatever - because they were created by God. We are His Masterpieces Before We do anything because We Are as He Created us. Because we are Human. This has been a radical change in my perspective and it has completely transformed my life.