U-G-L-Y

Ugly face
Let's leave U-G-L-Y out on the doorstep where he belongs!

Ugly is an adjective in the English language that describes something unattractive or not desirable.  The cheerleaders would lead the crowd in a chant “U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly!” at the high school football games. Of course this chant was directed to the opposing team.

Mid-way to the end of the movie ‘Hair Spray’, Mabelle’s son, Seaweed J. Stubb brings Penny to not only his side of town but to his home. When Mabelle meets Penny, she ask “who is this?” and her daughter answers by saying “it’s Seaweed’s girlfriend.” Since this movie setting took place in the 1960’s and around the events of integration, Mabelle responds; “well if this is true, you better be ready for a whole lot of ugly because it’s going to be out there; followed up with a whole lot of stupid.”  You see Penny was caucasian and Seweed was African-American which was very taboo during that era.

Ugly. We see it a lot these days. Stories on the news and attitudes of people  are examples of where we find ugly. I worked retail for a while and when I did I would encounter ugly from time to time. Some days it felt like every customer that came in had taken an ugly pill. Most of us have that experience at some place and time.

While growing up in a minister’s home, I learned and experienced  a lot of things. The things I learned and experienced were not just taught to me by my parents. But, I learned and experienced them through people’s actions and reactions. The things I learned and experienced were patience, staying strong when things are tough, unconditional love which were all good things for a person to experience and learn growing up. But, as the saying goes, it was not always roses. There were a few times when I experienced some thorns among the roses which were ugly.

The biggest hurts I experienced and saw others go through was someone just being ugly. Believe it or not these big hurts happened within the church family. These hurts were caused by someone’s temper flaring, someone not liking what someone else is doing or they simply want things done their way. In these observations, I sometimes saw and still see people new to the Christian faith wanting to be involved because they want to escape life’s ugly for just a few simple moments.  They want to come be renewed, experience joy in their heart and be encouraged by others. Yet, I have seen these very people see and/or experience ugly and become so hurt that they leave the church and some are never to come back. 

The church family consists of many personalities. Personalities that are not perfect and that is why we have each other as a family. We are called to encourage one another in our faith walk. God calls us to look beyond our needs, wants, and feelings and see the needs of others. In doing this, we need to intentionally create an atmosphere in our church homes where people especially those who are new in the faith can find joy, comfort, peace, encouragement and where they can escape from the ugly for just a few simple minutes.

1 Peter 4:9-10 gives us these instructions; “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister to one another, as good stewards of a manifold grace of God.” What do you say? How about we leave ugly outside the door. I encourage us to create an environment of hospitality, encouragement,  a place of warmth, unconditional love, and a place of refuge to allow people to leave their worries at the feet of Jesus and be covered by His grace.  The church needs to be a place where people are given  hope to face that world of‘whole lot of ugly’ as they walk out the church  door back into the world of life.   And, if we have a little ugly in our hearts, let’s give it to God and not give Satan the V-I-C-T-O-R-Y of showing ugly. Afterall, Satan is our opponent and he is U-G-L-Y! He’s ugly and he definitely does not need an  alibi; he’s ugly!  

Blessings

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