"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine cloths. Rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
The simple task of husking corn. Nothing elegant. Just sitting on the back stoop and making sure I get all the silk off of the ear of corn before cooking them. Yet, as I was doing that, it struck a thought with me. On the outside, corn is pretty much the same. Taller stalks, silk coming out of the top. If you look at the outside of corn, you would say they are all very similar. As you begin husking the corn, the individuality of the corn starts to shine through. Some may be all yellow with large kernels. Some may be yellow and white with smaller kernels. Typically, regardless of what you see as you peel the husk back, you find great sweetness. As you bite into an ear of corn, it's hard not to smile with delight as those kernels pop in your mouth, so sweet. Sure, sometimes we see an ear that is not mature or has been chewed by insects, but most of the time, it is good.
It made me think, if we were to peel back the husk of our neighbors, friends, and families, what would we find? Do we find people who are full of kindness and sweetness? Do we find people that are fully mature or haven't fully matured yet? Do we find people who may have been chewed up by the bitterness of their situations? What is on the outside of people may not be what is on the inside of people. The elaborate lifestyles or personas may not mirror what is on the inside of people. As when we open up an ear of corn that is not "sweet", we are disappointed. When we get to know the "inside of people" and realize they may not be "sweet", we are also disappointed. Can we change them? You know the answer to that.
As always, it is important to start with the sole person that you can change, YOURSELF! As you peel back your own husk, what are people finding? What are you finding? Is there a person who is mature and full of sweetness and delight? Or is there a person who is not mature, eaten up by the bitterness of past mistakes and not forgiving others. We may share with others that we work hard to live the life that Jesus has asked us to live. I know I try to do that. Yet, if I'm going to be truthful, I often fall short.
On the inside, I am not always sweet (hey, just ask my family!). I may try to be mature, but often my responses, both inside and outside, aren't always that of a mature woman. I can get cranky and bitter and the anxiousness that I feel can many times be revealed in my emotions - the inside stuff.! Can you relate? I try to ensure that the sweetness and goodness that God wants me to share is there every day. Yet, there are some days when that just doesn't happen. So what's a girl to do?
We go to the word of God. There, and only there, can I find true redemption for the behavior that may not be the sweetness I want on the inside. When I ask my Savior for forgiveness and begin the healing, peace enters my heart and sweetness returns. The simple faith of knowing God can make me sweet is such a rich blessing. Through His goodness and His love, I know that peace and happiness will return. That is a guarantee.
I challenge us. What are people seeing when they "husk" us? Are they seeing the sweet love of Jesus or a person that has been chewing on bitterness? We can change ourselves to grow more sweet on the inside. We can live in the words of Jesus and have simple faith that through his love our sweetness will grow. The next time you husk that ear of corn, take a look on the inside for the sweetness that we know only Jesus can give us.
Dearest Jesus, we ask that you help us to self-reflect what is in our hearts. May we find the sweetness and goodness that we can share with others. If we find bitterness Lord, we ask that you change our hearts and fill us up with the words of saving grace that only YOU can provide. In your saving name we pray. Amen."