We Are Radiant in the Eyes of Jesus

Heather Holleman
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When I look in the mirror, I feel radiant. I feel loving. I still wear makeup because it’s fun and artful. I still treat blemishes and use products that help my skin, but it’s not because I feel ugly. It’s because I feel beautiful, and I want to care for my skin.

This year, I lost a lot of weight because I began to walk with my neighbor and intentionally ate healthier. I found that I began to enjoy moving my body and eating nutritious foods. It gave me more energy and an elevated mood, and so I kept walking and eating to support my health with more fruits and vegetables and less cake and potato chips.

I found that having lost weight, I could do more things with my body. My knees no longer hurt; I slept better; I could fit into my pants; and I had triple the energy. That made me so happy because my body and health wouldn’t become a limitation. When motivated by this focus, instead of hating my body and seeking cultural beauty, I find it feels fun and joyful instead to seek health. God began to use my special seat at His table to purify my motivation in seeking health, to help me accept my body type and face, and to release me from thinking about it so much.

“Because I’m seated with Christ, I don’t need to agonize; I adore.”

As I write that sentence, I’m amazed that after a lifetime of struggle with overeating and weight gain, I did not find the power and motivation to improve my health until I truly believed I was seated in the heavenly realms. The energy, security, and acceptance that the Holy Spirit brought into my heart through Ephesians 2:6 changed everything about me including eating habits (I didn’t need food to solve my loneliness or fear), my exercise (I didn’t need a thin body to earn a seat with the beautiful people; I was already seated at the table, so I could just enjoy physical activity), and my attitude about clothing and makeup (it’s now an art form and not an attempt to gain a seat at the table).

However, take caution. When I began to lose weight and receive compliments for my appearance, I was tempted to base my identity on this. I think about the number of photos of young girls with pouty lips and luscious hair that parade through the social media feed. It’s a constant stream of self-focused photographs to present a false kind of beauty to the world. It seems we can’t win: Either we’re obsessing over how bad we look, or we’re exalting ourselves because of our cultural beauty. But when we’re seated in Christ, we gaze at Jesus and embrace our unique and beautiful appearance by keeping the King at the center of our gaze, not our own appearance.

We know we’ve been “knit together” (Psalm 139) by Him for a special purpose, and this includes our appearance, right down to the pores on our nose. When I’m seated with Christ, I rejoice in my God-given appearance, but I don’t exalt myself and idolize it; I walk about with a new freedom and joy because I’m “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I take everything about my appearance—what I perceive as good or bad—and I turn it all into moments of worship.

I see myself differently.

I see you differently.

I look at you, and I see an exquisite creation. I see a radiant person, and I’m enthralled. I’m fascinated. I hope you feel it as I look at you. I hope you feel the love of Jesus through my face. As I go about the day, I remember that, with each person I spend time with, I’m in the presence of the most profoundly and radiantly beautiful creature who is made in God’s image.

Because I’m seated with Christ, I don’t need to agonize; I adore. I turn my face to Jesus and imagine that, at this table, we’re so beautiful that there’s not even a category for it. It’s beyond beauty. It’s beyond appearance.

As you sit as this table, you know how Jesus feels about you.

Set the scene in your mind: The Most Gorgeous One in the Universe announces He’s enthralled by someone in the room. He wants to invite this one to sit down beside Him at the royal table. Where is she? Who is this person?

I imagine Jesus turns to the Father and points to you.

He says, “That’s her. Isn’t she radiant?”

You, radiant you, takes a seat in the heavenly realms with the King.

For Further Reading:

Seated With Christ

by Heather Holleman

As Christians find themselves trapped in the rhetoric of platform, influence, retweets, and fame, they need a ladder out of the fray. Many of...

book cover for Seated With Christ