I love the days when an idea for a blog post lands on my lap. I was thinking today about attractiveness: what we as a society call "attractive", and what really is attractive. Some of us might think someone like Kendall Jenner or Chris Pine as the "ultimate" in physical attractiveness. Yet, I would argue that sometimes, people who spend time trying to BE attractive on the outside do so because they have little attractiveness that comes from within them. It's almost narcissistic when you see someone who spends so much time to make themselves look good. Granted, the celebrities I've listed thrive and literally survive on their looks. Chris Pine may be a good actor, but Kendall Jenner? What has she done? Reality TV?
I find that while eye candy like this can be good to look at, it's like eating Pez candy - it dissolves quickly and leaves you far less than satisfied.
Last night I was at a choral concert, and I watched people as they walked into the concert, and I found myself feeling "attracted" to some of them. Now, these attractive people were of both genders, and they sometimes were not what I'd consider stunningly beautiful: they may have had a few extra pounds or missing some hair. But they were attractive. They were people who exuded warmth, and they were permeated with what I call authenticism: they were real. And I find that it's THOSE type of people that I am drawn to, and attracted to.
And it makes me think about something I've written about before: the nature of the personality of Jesus. I think we look at modern Christianity, with its focus on anti-this and anti-that, that we forget about the Man whom this religion was based on. Now, we don't know what Jesus looked like. There's been thousands of paintings, illustrations, photo recreations and cartoons of what we THINK he looked like. I tend to like one that shows a humble, almost ugly man. It's based on the physical attributes of the people of the eastern Mediterranean at that time. And when you see it, you are almost repulsed. I mean, THIS Jesus is ugly. Or at least, unattractive.
But that's by our Chris Pine Kendall Jenner George Clooney Jennifer Garner attitudes of today. And, most likely, even standards of that day. I'm sure there were more than a handful of young Jewish women who secretly idolized some tribune or leader of the Roman occupation forces - secretly, of course - due to the physical appearance of that Roman person.
And yet, Jesus WAS attractive! Take a look at the stories in scripture. The children who seemingly surround Jesus, even to the point that the disciples found them annoying and wanted to remove them. I know many came to Jesus because of his miracles, but you have to think that there was more to it than just that. Jesus exuded joy, pure joy. He must've - he HAD to have been someone with a hearty and genuine laugh. He probably was what we'd call "touchy-feely", giving of affectionate touches to children, women, and even men. When he saw someone, even someone that was not in his "posse", he had to have greeted them with warmth.
And THAT is the attractiveness that I try to be in myself, and find myself pulled to. Because it's that honest and genuine attractiveness that creates lasting bonds of friendship and appreciation. And it's that kind of attractiveness that is purely of the Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria