Totoro came in my mailbox last week. His ears are off-centered, his face out of shape, some fur falling off. I’ll name him “Roroto”! Thankfully, AliExpress gave me a full refund after I complained about poor quality control. But Roroto free to keep. I don’t think I want to buy another again.
I wonder how many Roroto(s) there are in this world. How many people are rejected just because they don’t meet a certain expectation of beauty, wealth, or behaviour? Maybe you feel like Roroto too. Who would accept you as you are? Have we set unrealistic ideas of perfection on ourselves or others? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we don’t have the right to judge someone as ugly.
One of the most moving portraits in Scripture is Ezekiel 16. It speaks about God adopting an abandoned baby girl in the field. The baby was rejected by her mother the day she was born.
On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth. No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die.
We are all like this abandoned girl, wallowing to die in our sins. But God took notice, adopted and loved us.
But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’ And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field. You grew up and became a beautiful jewel. Your breasts became full, and your body hair grew, but you were still naked. And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
God loved Israel in all her imperfections. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. He didn’t demand that we get right before he died for us. He knew we couldn’t. If God loved us this much, shouldn’t we love others and ourselves too? Can we love the Rorotos in this world with the love of God? A beautiful song captures this idea:
Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
John Legend, “All of Me”, 2013