fbpx

How Beautiful

Last week, one night, I lay in bed, in exhaustion, and listened with my eyes closed to the song “How Beautiful”, by Twila Paris. How beautiful the hands that served the wine and the bread and the sons of the earth… How beautiful the radiant bride who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes… How beautiful the hands that serve the wine and the bread and the sons of the earth… It gave me a feeling of joy at being a part of the bride of Christ, part of His body, His hands and feet.

The next evening I listened to the song again, but with tears in my eyes. I listened with a feeling of sorrow so deep, so wide that I didn’t know what to do with it. Because a lady had died, and while she was dying, the hands of Christ–my hands and the hands of my coworkers–were eating rice. It is a long story, one I cannot fully share, but it broke my heart and not like the bread that was broken in the hands of Jesus. If I had only gone sooner, run with His feet to the side of that suffering woman…

That night I thought about the body of Christ, the way He allowed it to be broken and gave everything, the way I have so often failed to be broken and give everything. But still, He told me that I am His bride and He can give me back the light in my eyes, that I can still choose to let my hands be His hands and let my life be broken like bread for others, like His body that was broken for me. It would mean laying my heart on the line, risking failure sometimes, being broken and not safe, but being filled with His beauty.

I’ve thought so much about beauty since coming to Bangladesh. Is it beautiful, the heat and garbage and palm trees silhouetted against the sunset? Are babies covered from head to toe in rashes beautiful? Are the people of Christ beautiful, when they have failed so often and continue to fail? Is the body of Christ, broken and wounded, because of our sins, a beautiful thing?

Is it beautiful, the gift of salvation and the resurrection power that comes from the body that is broken? Is it beautiful when He makes my feet His feet, and they slip and slide through the mud and rain on the way to do a home visit?

Today His hands served me rice, and they heaped my plate full twice, and they looked like the hands of my coworker… How beautiful is the body of Christ.

Beauty doesn’t always feel beautiful. Sometimes it feels sweaty, and like giving your last smile away, and like biting your tongue when you want to say something. Sometimes it feels like crying and accepting the broken body of Christ as your only healing, your only strength. Sometimes it feels like a peace that has nothing to do with the situation you are in, and everything to do with being right in the center of the situation God placed you in, willing to pay the price.

How beautiful the hands that served
The Wine and the Bread and the sons of the Earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty roads and the hill to the cross
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sin and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That choose to forgive and never despise
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

And as He lay down His life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as He died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price

How beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes
How beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the King
How beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the Earth
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

Twila Paris

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing, Alison. It spoke to my heart. May God help each of us to be beautiful hands and feet in the corners of the world we’re in. God bless your day!

    1. Thanks, Janet, and God bless you too as you serve Him! ❤

Leave a Reply to Janet Martin Cancel reply