Sunrise and a Cockroach

I don’t voluntarily get out of bed before the crack of dawn, but during the school year my schedule demands it. Since I’ve been learning to master my body instead of letting it master me, my early rising is due in part to the necessity of a brisk walk before the day gets started. Oh how I wish you knew how difficult this is for me (plea for pity here)! I have begun, however, to truly hunger after the peace I gain from watching that first tinge of pink begin to show in the eastern sky. And when the full blaze of the rising sun ignites the horizon with flame it is a heavenly reminder that He is still there. He has it all in hand – the world, my world – He put it all in place and He holds it all together. Day after day. Morning by morning. Sunrise to sunrise.

I usually begin my walk headed west and I spend that entire half of my loop anticipating the sight I will behold when I make the turn at the end of our cul-de-sac. This morning as I stepped off under the street lamp, which still burned brightly, I saw something move across the sidewalk. Something flat, but big. Not like an animal, but something I didn’t want to squish. My eyes are bad, you know, so it took me until I was right on top of it to realize that it was a great big giant sized disgusting cockroach (think epic prehistoric hissing sized!!). I danced out into the road to avoid it and kept quick-stepping on my way with gooseflesh chasing me.

To distract myself from the creepy encounter I turned my thoughts to prayer and the anticipation of sunrise. Twelve minutes later, there it was: the greeting of my Lord’s glorious faithfulness. And twelve minutes after that I was nearly home again.

As I hoofed through the last stretch to the door, enjoying the dawn and all its glory, I told Jesus that He is a marvelous Creator and that nature is surely an extension of the beauty within Him. Then…I remembered the cockroach.

And it was as if I could hear him audibly say, “And what about the cockroach, Melissa? Is my beauty there too?” (Is this a trick question?!) 

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That’s usually said by someone trying to defend another someone who lacks said beauty. But in the case of our Lord and that cockroach it is truth. That cockroach is as beautiful as the sunrise to the One who created them both because it is His perfect work doing what it was designed to do. Without debate. Without excuse. Without question. Being what He made it to be. Perfect in purpose and design. A reflection of His creativity, wisdom and plan. Beautiful.

So I responded to His query with understanding. “Why yes. Yes, Lord Jesus! Your beauty is reflected in that cockroach too (shudder). And thank you for the reminder, because if your beauty can be reflected in a bug (a huge disgusting one) then it is surely reflected in me.” Unlike the cockroach, in spite of my disgusting appearance, my creepy behavior, and my repulsive habits, I am made in the image of my Creator and He has redeemed my formerly reprehensible soul to Himself and given me a glorious purpose – to shine like the dawn. Beautiful. Like a cockroach.