Leo Jiang grew up in an English industrial town, emotionally scarred by bullies who taunted him about being Chinese. A few years and tens of thousands of dollars later, he’s not really Chinese …
This is one of the biggest manifestations of an ongoing identity crisis that which the technology of today has finally caught up with. The gaping hole in our hearts that search ravenously for some kind of substance that will finally acknowledge, appreciate, and value them has led many a desperate people to paths where they willingly subjugate themselves to a mutilation of the flesh - snipping away here, stitching up there, inserting synthetics everywhere. People claim they’re living in brokenness and hiding because they’re not treated the same way as others, because their eyes are too small, lips too thin, jaws too protruding, arms too fat, forehead too large, height too short. In other words, because they’ve handed over their value and worth to the chump change of ballooned out, empty words that carry no substance when you remove the wrapper: We’ve handed off our identity to the crowd around us and allowed them to plaster these labels that in reality, have no correlation to the value of our worth.
In other words, we’ve sold out the significance of our individuality to the insignificant physical attributes that society judges as acceptable.
It isn’t about the preservation of your ethnicity or your race; opting for monolids as opposed to double lids does not an Asian make. Neither does the trait of a flat nose or a round jaw line. The issue is that there is a lack of confidence due to a failed recognition that who we are, in essence, in being, is far more superior over the superficial and physical images we carry. We are afraid to be ourselves. And we let our physical attributes take the hit - we blame and justify the lack of confidence to what we can not fix instead of attempting to improve on what we can. The identity crisis is a bottomless pit that will forever eat up all the insecurities we will ever have; if we keep feeding it with lies regarding the root of the cause (in this case, our looks), we’ll never come to the realization that it takes a shift in perspective and mind to reassess what truly makes a person beautiful.
This is not to say that physical attributes are irrelevant. We’re made in the image of God, and his handiwork is fiercely beautiful. He’s made us jealously and carefully; we resemble the very essence of God in all that we are. But once we place our looks up on the altar of our hearts, everything gets twisted and turned upside down. What was once a unique display of His creation - a wondrous artwork that celebrates humanity - becomes an idol that shifts our focus and destroys His intentions. Our foundation, our acceptance, our significance can’t come from the unstable grounds that we are physically beautiful; it must come from the solid bedrock that simply declares, we are WHOLLY beautiful.
Identity is key as it dictates what we say, how we act, and what we allow ourselves to do. I firmly believe that Jesus Christ looks upon me with sheer gladness in his heart, because He has molded me in such a way that brings out a unique attribute of him that only I can reflect and carry. The combination of my soul, spirit, and body has brought out that one trait that had the creatures in Revelations cry out holy and throw down their crowns. I am his most prized creation - I am his beloved daughter. I’ve gladly given up my rags to be seated in the glory of heaven; I’ve traded in the ugliness of my heart to be sanctified by the purest of blood. He calls me his holy saint - just like him. I know who I am. That means, no matter what other people judge me to be - too skinny, too short, too crazy, too opinionated, too strong - it doesn’t depreciate or devalue my significance: because I’ve taken my identity and placed it in firm foundations - in the hands of the One that made me.
This identity crisis that an orphan spirit feeds on exists because the heart-wrenching message of a holy identity found in a holy God has not been preached enough. This identity crisis that spirals into depression exists because people attempt to fill that Christ-shaped hole with other shapes that don’t even remotely fit. This identity crisis that drives people to voluntarily allow the unnatural splicing and cutting of their own bodies - to learn to hate their own and be envious of another, to detach from themselves and re-mold as another - exists because people haven’t encountered yet what it means to be wholly and completely KNOWN.
Self-worth can not and will not ever be fulfilled by what society dictates is trendy or beautiful. It can only and fully be satisfied when the veil is lifted, and one recognizes the true value of their existence in the embracing eyes of the One that calls them, My Beloved.