I like the word “homely.” My dictionary says “homely” means not attractive or good looking. Yet it’s the secondary definition that appeals to me: simple or unpretentious; plain, and finally, characteristic of the home. People value perfection and unblemished beauty, which is understandable, but I think those qualities have their limits. A wild flower is exquisite even though it waves its petals over hard scrabble ground dotted with weeds.
Reality is homely. We treasure cracked china cups because they remind us of our grandparents who brought them out on special occasions so friends and relatives could sit around an old scarred kitchen table to celebrate a special event. Or, what about the faded quilt with the too large quilting stitches—far less than the desired twelve to an inch? Homely. Not quite perfect…it doesn’t have to be.
I find a lot of homely items when I browse the antique stores. They appeal to me because I remember many from my childhood. For me, an antique becomes more desirable with a homely edge to it. I recall my father flipping down the side of the metal toaster to turn the bread over to toast the other side and I remember pink plastic transistor radios. These things aren’t pretty; they’re even a little ugly or funny looking now, but they make me smile.
Have you ever seen a dog or cat so quirky looking you had to love it?
Homely has a place in our lives. It has its own wild attraction. Things that are homely don’t demand much from us. We don’t need to polish or insure them. They are a large part of the fabric of our lives and perhaps we lose something when we discard them for something perfect.
In a way, we’re all homely in the eyes of God. Certainly not perfect, broken in places with cracks in our integrity, Jesus loves us just the same. What a blessing that He treasures us as we are. He covers our faults with his righteousness and puts us right back to work. We have a place in His heavenly home!