Peacocks and Their Kin
“…God plays a game with the soul called ”the loser wins“; a game in which the one who holds the poorest cards does best.” —Evelyn Underhill
Male peacocks are resplendent creatures with iridescent blue-green plumage and elongated trains tipped with "eyes" colored in hues of gold, red, and blue. They are strikingly beautiful birds…
But they have the ugliest feet in the world!
To be honest, most of us have “ugly feet,” don’t we—some blemish, some disfigurement, some physical limitation or handicap, something that makes us feel “less than”? It may be a deformity we’ve borne all our lives, or it may be the disfigurements of old age—wrinkles, blotches, sun–spots, shriveled limbs—unsightliness that makes us self-conscious and reticent.
Paul described his deficiency (whatever it was) as a “thorn in the flesh” a defect that shamed and humiliated him (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Three times he asked the Lord to remove it, thinking that he could then serve God better. But the Lord assured him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul replied with great humility, “So then, most gladly I will boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
We may be too lovely for God to use, but we can never be too ugly. One of the ironies of faith is that he often chooses those who are less endowed with natural grace and beauty to accomplish his most important tasks. They are used in ways they could never imagine. Here is mystery: We are chosen because of our limitations, not in spite of them. How encouraging is that! “God was looking for someone weak enough to use and he found (you)” (Hudson Taylor).
So…whatever measure of “ugliness” we enjoy, it is ours lest we get carried away with ourselves, and fail to make the most of our lives. It is a blessing to make us better, stronger, wiser for it is “out of weakness” that we are “made strong” (Hebrews 11:34).