I have probably watched way too many television shows and movies.  I carry the images of these shows in my mind.  One of the images I have is of the sick heroine.  In the movies, she is wearing matching gown and robe.  She is pale, but her make up looks good.  The covers on her bed are neatly arranged around her.  Somehow her hair is coiffed perfectly, even though she is lying down.  She is gracious even though she is suffering.

She is definitely not me.  I do not look good when sick.  I am rarely gracious when ill.  For example, my family was thrilled that I showered and dressed today.  It had been six days since both had happened.  I also want what I want when I want it.  When my mom brought me Chinese food to eat in bed, I asked for chopsticks.  I did brush my teeth and occasionally my hair, but I never even thought about makeup.

So many things in our minds are based on unrealistic images.  We have expectations of ourselves, our families, our lives, and the world around us that are not accurate.  We become convinced that those images are real. Many of those images are carefully crafted illusions.  They are not reality.  Reality is that we all have days, weeks, and sometimes even months when we do not look our best.  What matters is not how we look, but how we are.  At those times that we are less-than-perfect, we have people who care.  There are people who look beyond what we look like.  There are people who are willing to serve us even when we are at our worst.

As Christians, we are called to serve others.  Sometimes they match the images we have.  Sometimes those we are called to serve are the exact opposite of the images we have in our mind.  Sometimes are service brings us to the unappealing, the dirty, the unkempt. Those who fit our images as well as those who do not are created in the image of God.  We are not called to like how they look, but we are called to serve.  Who are you serving today?

“Your priority has to be caring for others even when it’s ugly. And it often is.”

 Rick Warren


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