Jenna Siek

Okay, so, what? You hate your body. So does Satan. Congratulations, you and the Prince of Demons have something in common: a thorough revulsion against your sinful flesh.

You act like your image is a blank piece of  paper, and you are the ambitious preschooler with a box of Crayola markers and lots of ideas. What do you see when you shut your eyes and conjure the Perfect You? Bigger biceps? Thicker hair? Smaller thighs? There is so much to work around. The kinks, bags, bumps and marks must be scribbled over or trimmed away (if you can find the kid-safe scissors). Alright preschooler, go ahead. Let’s see how well you do.

But you’re not a blank paper after all. Maybe you want to be, because you crave control. But your body already has a blueprint. Far from Build-A-Bear, and not just a customizable scrap of cells, you’re, well, a masterpiece.

This truth is hard to explain. It began ordinarily enough: Behold, dirt. Or, behold, a guy’s rib. Then, the patient touch of a Creator, the ridges of his fingertips pushing and forming a Man out of mud. The warmth of his breath inflating lungs for the first time. Next, the methodical and planned process of building a Woman. Gently, thoughtfully, he brings her to be with the same hands and breath with which the man was made. Fast forward a few thousand years, and here’s your parents, descended from dirt, handmade by God and still sucking in the breath of life. They come together and voila!  There you are.

Are you more charming than any of the other zygotes who have snacked on nutrients in-utero? Probably not. But what’s more important, the charisma of the creation or the love of the Creator? You can complain about your traits until you are blue in the face, but the truth is that you were formed for something Ex-Nos. You were made for Someone outside of the worrying, wondering human throng surrounding you. 

If the jab or flab that confronts you in the mirror makes you feel worthless, it’s because you live in a world that hates the love that your existence expresses. Satan detests your body, from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet, because your flesh, and the flesh of all humans, verifies his inevitable destruction. Your created flesh proves the presence of a Love so sweet and mighty that heaven will greet earth and God Himself will die to keep a “clump of cells” with Him eternally. 

If you think you are noxious, consider the stink of the manger where Jesus was born. If you hate your appearance, think on the gory sight that accosted Saint Mary as she watched her son die. If you resent your personality, realize that these actions were done for you! He knows every flaw that you’ve been hiding, and He exposed himself to the ridicule, loneliness, shame and death that you fear. Then He rose again – so you can too. So, kiddo, put away the scissors and crayons. Your image reflects God. Have you treated it badly and marred the reflection? Probably. Has corrupted nature impinged your perfection? You bet. And yet, the Creator continues to love you, skin, bone, body and soul. He has engraved you onto the palms of his hands. Although you may have been starved, stuffed, cut or creamed in response to the world’s folly, He sees you through His Son. He regards your body and says “you are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Songs 4:7).