Loving My Freckles
Honoring your own uniqueness
as a spiritual practice
Oh God, help me to realize the truth about myself
no matter how beautiful it is.
-- Macrina Wiederkehr
Follow the grain in your own wood.
-- Howard Thurman
Pretty girl, don't need to hide that part of you
that you don't like, turns out its my favorite
thing about you.
-- Soul of the Universe
Loving my own freckles
Remembering my father's freckles
Toward a Theology of Freckles
Sometimes, so we learn in the song by Maddie Wilson, God's favorite thing about us is the thing we like the least: the thing that makes us special. Let "freckles" be a metaphor for whatever these qualities are.
For us they may seem like blemishes; for God they are splashes of sunlight. They can can be outside us on our skin, or inside us as personality traits that make us who we are: our humor, our wierdness, the sound of our voice or the song we sing.
Sometimes we have a hard time accepting how beautiful our freckles are. In Spirituality and Practice, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat invite us to recognize that authentic spirituality can include what they call the Practice of You.
In an age preoccupied with the problem of narcissism, it can seem counter-productive to lift up the Practice of You as important in its own right. But we can not really love our neighbors as we love ourselves, unless we love ourselves as well as our neighbors. When we learn to love ourselves in a healthy way -- recognizing the beauty of our freckles -- we learn to love others in their uniqueness as well. We love their freckles.
And when they die, so we learn in the digital story by Allyson Duran, we miss them. Their freckles fade away in our memory.
In open and relational (process) theology, the Soul of the universe is understood as the horizon of deep love in whose heart all persons are remembered and appreciated in their concreteness.
In God's life the freckles do not fade away. It is this deep love of the particular, the deep love of all things fickle, spare, and strange, that makes God "God."