I know just how she feels.
Isn't this the way it settles in our hearts....that old, rotten, all-too familiar sense of discouragement. Someone else does it better than we do and so our efforts seem futile. Then our sunken, disheartened soul wonders why we should bother at all. So we give up.
Her upside-down mouth and that crumply bed were in the back of my mind all afternoon. Did she think someone would love her less on account of a few wrinkles? Me?....Her father?....Her friends?
To be loved. Surely it is what we strive most for in life. When I was a teenager, for years I used to read one small part of my then-favorite spiritual book over and over again. The section I would read and re-read, on Defects of Nature, encourages one not to feel grieved at one's natural inferiorities. To be content with the gifts we're given because they are the only gifts we need. God gives us those qualities which are in accordance with the designs He has for us. Nothing more, nothing less. The chapter further suggests that we should consider ourselves fortunate to be lesser than others, blessed to have mediocre talents, because superiority often engenders pride and vanity, and more is expected of those who have more.
That book saved me when I was younger. To realize that I had everything I needed to become perfect one day...in Him...for Him. Not perfect for friends or brothers or even my mother and father. As much as these people love me they'll never Love like Him. Perfectly.
One day in the not so distant future I know I'll find myself explaining all this to my little girl and her siblings: Seek Love only where it truly can be found....in Him; and strive to be perfect only for God, because friends and family will fail you. And that's okay. They're human. They're fallen. In those people you will never find complete rest, unbounded joy, or whole love, my dear. But you will find everything you desire, and much, much more in Him.
The promptings are beginning already.
Lord, help me to teach You....and only You. All I want for them is You, because You are all any of us really wants.