The Beautiful Truth About Us 

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

A while ago my wife, Jerry, attended a women’s retreat led by a Roman Catholic nun, Sister Susan. A few days after returning from the retreat, Jerry received a letter from Sister Susan which concluded with this prayer, and suggesting that Jerry pray it daily: “Oh God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.” 

What a prayer! Does it shock you? Most of would have problems praying it. Why? Our Christian faith warns about thinking too highly of ourselves than we ought to think. 

Unfortunately, we have misunderstood that and taken it too far. The message of Christianity, the most affirming of all religions, has come through as self-denial. To be sure, there is a place for self-denial, but that must not be seen as self-depreciation or any form of devaluating self. 

As the pinnacle of God’s creation, not proudly, but humbly we should have a high opinion of ourselves. This old story will put it in perspective. A French Prime Minister said to an eminent surgeon who was to operate on him, “You will not, of course, treat me in the same manner as you would your poor, miserable wretches in the hospital.” The surgeon replied, “Sir, every one of those poor, miserable wretches, as your Eminence is pleased to call them, is a prime minister in my eyes.” 

In the eyes of God we are all creatures of potential greatness. Write the prayer down—memorize it. Pray it daily—it will change your life: 

Oh God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.”

-Maxie Dunnam