My poor child, you are so ugly that no one will ever love you!
(J.R. Miller, "The Glory of the Commonplace")
The story is told of a distinguished woman, that when she was a girl she was so homely that even her mother said to her one day: "My poor child, you are so ugly that no one will ever love you!" The cruel words fell deeply into the child's heart — but instead of making her bitter, they had just the opposite effect. She determined that if her face was homely, she would make her life so beautiful that people would love her. She began to be kind to everybody, to be loving, thoughtful, gentle, and helpful. She never became lovely in features — but she did become the good angel of the community in which she lived. It was love in her heart which transformed her life and saved her from utter disheartenment.
Just so, there are those whose lives have been hurt in some way, and who seem doomed to carry their marring or wounding through all their days — but whom the love of Christ can yet restore to beauty and strength. There is no ruined life, which He cannot build up again into loveliness. There is no defect, which He cannot turn into usefulness. To know that Christ on His throne of glory sympathizes with our weaknesses and our infirmities — puts into the heart a new secret of joy which will transform the dreariest life into Heavenly gladness.
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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