Friday, February 18, 2011

DEVOTION: Hidden Beauty - Shirley Corder

On holiday at a retreat centre I lazed outside in a recliner, surrounded by wild flowers and bushes. Enjoying the warm sun and cloudless sky of the Johannesburg winter day, I was surprised to spot a brown moth, usually only seen at night. It was searching for nectar from the brightly coloured blooms in the near-by garden.

I wondered why God made him so drab when his day-time cousins, the butterflies, are so beautiful. Just then a shaft of sunlight crossed his path and he spread his wings to enjoy the warmth. Under each wing I spotted a streak of shimmering gold, glinting in the sun's rays. Once again I had judged something by its first appearance, instead of allowing it time to show its true splendour.

God in His wisdom knew that this tiny creature needed to look like a piece of wood or a dry leaf to hide from predators. Yet it was almost as if God couldn't resist giving it something to treasure, a mark of beauty mostly hidden from view.

Many people do not seem to have any beauty, physical or in their character. They are difficult to relate to, hard to love. Yet God made them in His own image. He gave something beautiful to that insignificant little moth; I can be sure there is something beautiful in every person.

Surely this is something we need to remember, not only in our own lives and the contacts we make, but in our writing. Even the bad guy, the wicked godmother, the ugly sister, will have some good featureno matter how well it's hidden. As writers, surely this will make our characters all the more real, when we show that touch of humanity, a flicker of understanding or regret, or a small act of mercy.

If God can't resist giving even a drab brown moth a mark of beauty, surely as the creators of our characters we need to do likewise.

Lord, help me to encourage those who feel drab or uninteresting to show their true, inner beauty. Help me to create characters that reveal the struggle between good and evil, and point my readers to the Creator who loves to make things beautiful.

Ecc 3:11 NIV  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men . . .

Shirley Corder writes from the coast of South Africa. Visit her at,  where she seeks to bring out the beauty in other writers, or Rise and Soar, where she seeks to encourage and inspire those who struggle in the ugly cancer valley.


  1. Thank you for that reminder, Shirley.
    What a beautiful devotion.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for the perspective. You nailed it yet again.