Belle Laide (Beautiful Ugly): The Christian Life

“Her glasses are gone, and her pupils look like they are full of milk, but strangely they do not unnerve him.  He remembers a phrase of Frau Elena’s:  belle laide.  Beautiful Ugly.”

-An excerpt from Anthony Doer’s book ‘All the Light We Cannot See’

Beautiful Ugly

I tried to make a chart….

but they can’t be separated by lines on a page.

I can not create a chart of the beautiful and ugly parts of life.  Even if we could identify each and every part of life that is sin we could not surgically remove the ugly from the beautiful.  Why can’t we? We can’t remove our own sin and those ugly parts, all that sin, God uses that.  He does not have perfect people he can use, he has us.  He no longer has a perfect world to us, he uses this one we are living in right now.

Each part of our lives contains sin and each part of our lives God is at work.

It may sound like a big downer but life is just one giant mess.  The beautiful and ugly can not be separated by us.  Instead it makes a picture.  It makes a belle laide picture.  A beautiful ugly picture.

Sometimes the beauty surfaces.

Sometimes the ugly works to the top of the heap.

As a Christian living in a sinful world you can’t shake either.  We do not have the power to shake off our sin or the sins of others.  We also do not have the power to shake off our loving Savior.

This phrase Belle Laide reminds me of one of my favorite phrases.

Simul Iustus et Pecator.

It is Latin for at the same time sinner and saint.  Our redemption has been completed.  God see’s us as a saint.  However we are at the same time a sinner living in the world.  It’s not something we can separate.  We are fully saint and we are fully sinner.  In death we will shed our sinfulness and we will be fully saint.  So until then we look to Jesus to see the beauty that can be found in this world.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 speaks about our earthly dwelling compared to our heavenly dwelling.

For we know that if the tent that is our early home is destroyed we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.  For while we at still in this tent, we groan, being burdened-not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5


PS.  for those who know me I did actually read a fiction book.  And loved it.

All The Light We Cannot See



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