Beauty Underneath

Black Eyed Susan

My tiny pot of Black-Eyed-Susans was definitely worse for wear after the 4th. Our family’s five-day extravaganza of playing in the lake by day and talking into the wee hours of night watered everyone’s souls (especially mine.)

However, watered souls did not translate into watered plants. I stepped out onto the deck and winced at the sorry looking flowers.

I grabbed the bucket of water that had been designated for scrubbing the porch and began to tenderly water my not-so golden gems.

As I looked past the flower pot I was shocked at how dirty the tiny table was that they sat on. In all the chaos of our remodel and family gathering I hadn’t noticed how filthy the petite bistro had become.

The bucket was handy so I started to clean.

At first I was hurried but it didn’t take long until I began to relish the process.

Was the leg of the table carved like a tulip?

I had never noticed.

Next I spied the stretch of wrought iron “branches” that formed the backs of the chairs.

I continued to scrub.

I had no idea the center of the table was supported by wrought iron “leaves”.

My quest to clean quickly turned into a delightful process of discovery. I began to marvel over how inconsequential the dirt was in comparison to the beauty underneath.

I began to wonder if that is how God feels about me.

Whenever I know I need cleaning my knee-jerk reaction is shame.

My table felt no shame.

She simply responded with shine.

It occurred to me that my heavenly Father doesn’t cluck His tongue when He’s cleaning me. I couldn’t help but wonder if He takes as much delight in the process of uncovering my original design as I did with my table.

My focus wasn’t on the dirt.

My focus was on the sparkle just underneath.

Do you suppose that when God “cleans my tongue” He does so in delightful anticipation of kind words buried just beneath?

Is it possible that as He wipes my jealous thoughts away He grins at the first sign of my genuine delight in another person’s accomplishments?

When He scrubs hard at my selfishness is He filled with joy when self-lessness begins to peek over the horizon of my self-centered perspective?

My table cleaning process took less than twenty minutes.

He’s been cleaning me for well over twenty years.

May I tell you something?

Not once in twenty years of cleaning has He shamed me.

If you’ve ever felt like you needed cleaning but shame kept you from coming to Him, I assure you, that’s simply not His M.O.

God doesn’t wipe us clean so He can condescend.

He wipes us clean in anticipation of a beauty that He knew was there all along.

Today let’s remember that our tarnished outsides will never hide all that He sees we can be!

“You are altogether beautiful my love…” Song of Solomon 4:7


Today’s post was inspired by Suzie Eller’s word prompt “salty” over at #livefree.

Yeah…I know. S.A.L.T. never made it in the post. My “distracted by shiny things brain” started with the idea of helping my sorry summer-time feet get clean with a salt scrub. (Which by the way really does work.)

However, I couldn’t go there. What happened today between He and I and twenty minutes of tulip-table cleaning was just too precious…down right holy. Leap-frogging into a salt-scrub didn’t feel right.

I’m praying you all have a great up and coming DoAhead weekend. Be sure to take a moment between your catch-ups and DoAheads to stop by Suzie’s. So. Many. Good. Words. I promise you’ll be blessed.

Your DoAhead Friend,



  1. I need my layer of filth cleaned off way too often. I have a hard time not picturing God shaking his head in such disappointment with me. I’m going to try and let your words sink in. Thanks for more inspiration, Cindy! Cindy

    • Love you girl! It truly is hard to let a truth like that sink in. It’s simply hard to grasp a love like His. You are not alone! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I love the thought of God delighting in removing the “dirt and grime” to get to His original design and purpose.
    This means we should feel loved when we are getting cleaned up! So encouraging!

  3. OH the love of God that never leaves us shamed!
    Psalm 34:55 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

    Coming to you from Suzie’s #livefree

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