Why Did God Make Me Ugly?
Sometimes kids ask very difficult questions. Our CSC children are no exceptions. One of our girls came to CSC from a situation of desperate poverty. Both her parents had died. She had suffered from a severe abscess in her jaw area that affected the jaw bone, and caused muscle and tissue loss. It also destroyed her teeth on that side of her mouth.
Maribelle was able to attend a camp with the other CSC children, sponsored by one of our supporting churches in the States. A team came to Cebu and we brought the kids off site for four days of recreation, Bible classes and craft activities. Maribelle was happy to be there, and responded to the presentation of the Bible lessons about God and Jesus. One evening she had lots of questions for her counselor. She wanted to know more about God. Was He good? Did He love her? When the counselor told her that He was good and that He did love her very much she thought for a moment, then asked, “Then why did he make me ugly?”
We are used to caring for children from tragic situations in life, but these questions always reach right inside of us and grab at our hearts. We had never thought of her as ugly! She was a beautiful young lady with an attractive personality. The abscess on her face didn’t make her ugly in our eyes, but it did make her feel that way. Perhaps she had been teased by playmates, or told by the adults in her life that she was unattractive.
A few months after the camp we were able to provide Maribelle with plastic reconstructive surgery. The surgeon moved some tissue, muscle, and fat around to better shape the area near her jaw. The results were remarkable. The staff will not soon forget the look on her face when the bandages were removed! Her smile made everything worthwhile.
The challenge for those caring for Maribelle and the other children is teaching them that they are beautiful because of what is inside of them. No matter what scars, disabilities or bad experiences they have had, God loves them and so does everyone at CSC. For Maribelle this has been a process. For even as she feels that her face now looks much better, she has learned about inner beauty and about God’s love. Nobody is ugly in God’s eyes.
Maribelle will soon be adopted, and her parents will continue the work with her. Their unconditional love for her and her three siblings will be a window to heaven and the nature of God’s love for her and all of us.