Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. Nairobi, Here I Come, Part 16

When my son first showed us pictures of Marabou storks in Kenya, everyone but me exclaimed "Oh, how ugly!" Or "I wonder if it woke up on the wrong side of the bed!"

For some reason I was fascinated by them. I found them to be quite attractive in their own way! My wife, a naturally witty person, couldn't stop herself from saying: "Now I'm really going to doubt him when he tells me I'm beautiful!"

These storks are really out of the ordinary. Like all storks, they have long, slender legs, and they can reach a height of 150 cm (60 inches). Their beaks also are long and narrow. Not bad for a pet bird. If they could be domesticated, that is. But then, who in their right mind would want a pet bird that tall? They can also have an astronomous (Is that even a word?) wingspan of 3.2 m (10.5 feet). That's wider than I am tall!

What turns most people off is not this bird's body, but its neck and its head. These are completely bare. No feathers in sight! Only reddish, very wrinkled skin. It makes them look like they are half vulture, half stork. Quite interesting, for my part!

In all reality, these birds are scavengers. Feathered necks and heads would be detrimental for their health when they clean the meat off of the carcasses of dead animals. Imagine the billions of bacteria that would cling for dear life to the necks of these creatures! To say nothing of the virus-infected blood from their prey!

But think about it: What would we do without scavengers? Diseases would be even more widely spread, and we would end up having extra work looking for all of the dead carcasses to be buried!

God had it all well planned. Nature takes care of itself, just like God designed it to. This makes every creature of His beautiful by design.

We all have a purpose in life. Even those who think of themselves as worthless! It's our choice whether or not we fulfill it.

"For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels - everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him." (Col 1:16 The Message)

"His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks." (Ps 36:6 The Message)

You are beautiful in God's eyes, no matter what others think!

Rob Chaffart

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