The Stranger’s Sketch

“The stranger’s sketch was a little more like, …gentle,” she said, fidgeting her fingers, as she looked at someone’s sketch of her, based on the stranger’s description.

A friend sent this Dove commercial to me, and I thought it worthy of sharing. Take the 6+ minutes today, and see the points. But PLEASE read on, my friend.

The gist of the video is that a forensic artist who had spent decades sketching “bad guys” based on a witness’s description, used his talent to draw two separate sketches of the same woman. The first sketch was based on the woman’s description of herself, while she sat out of the artist’s sight. The second sketch was based on someone else’s words, describing the same woman to the artist through the curtain as he drew. Each completed drawing amazingly resembled the woman who was described, yet the resulting sketches, though of the same woman, were very different.

I smiled, and even teared up as each woman saw the sketch made from her own self-description compared to the sketch made from someone else’s description.

“I look more open, friendly and…happy,” one said, speaking of the sketch from the other’s description. No matter which woman self-described and then was described by another, the sketches came out as similar comparisons: the self-description sketch was not as attractive as the one drawn using another person’s description.

Maybe it was the sad background music, but I mused in retrospect, as my melancholy personality saw the gloom in it: “Yeah, but what if someone who had known me for a longer time – not the stranger in the waiting room – had described me for drawing? Then it would have been more true…uglier.”

Get thee behind me satan!

Beauty Tips

External beauty is not the goal and never has been.

I loved the video for pointing out to me (again!) how much the beauty dragon blows fire into our lives. Any time we are measuring ourselves and our worth based on bones in our chins, (yes, I’ll leave that plural for the fun of it), our skin tone or eyelash length, we are doomed for unhappiness. True joy doesn’t change.

What is neverchanging is our real worth. What really matters is not our self-description, but JR sermon notes_2who we are in the Lord’s eyes. “Whose we are” should radiate!

If we encourage another woman today, we can have the best facelift available (and give one too)!

If we are mournful of our sin, no one can take away our comfort! (Matt 5:4) And that is worth some crows’ feet to get there!

When I truly think that God, His son not sparing, sent Him to die on a cross for my sins, that I may be white as snow…then the number of imperfections of my face fades in comparison.

You are beautiful, my friend. You are a child of God. Any stranger can see it. No matter your past, the weight of the imperfections you try to carry, in Christ alone, you are perfect.

In his sermon yesterday, Dr. Stephen Davey shared that we are “…identity thieves. We have the sinless identity of Christ. It was His gift to us. Practicing our identity in Him is our gift back.”

So how do your eyes look now? Radiant! Just the way He intended. Much like His.

In love,

Terri Brady

P.S. How about these verses to douse the dragon’s fire?

1 Sam 16:7: But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

John 7:24: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Recommended Reading:

Do You Think I’m Beautiful by Angela Thomas 

Related Posts:

For Fun: The Guy Version of a Stranger’s Sketch

Buffalos and Butterflies

Shout Out to Moms!

29 thoughts on “The Stranger’s Sketch

  1. Terri, Thanks for encouraging me today and teaching me the best way to get a facelift! I love JR’s sermon notes too!

  2. This is beautiful. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to teach my daughters about beauty. How to balance teaching them confidence without vanity. It’s helpful to reflect on beauty being more than what we would see in a picture or in the mirror, outward appearance being only one factor in the sum total that is ourselves, the radiance of Christ being the ultimate beauty. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. That video is so touching! Women automatically think that other women are judging their appearance negatively but the comments from other women were so positive. Really eye-opening!

  4. Terri,
    Thank you so much for this reminder!
    I remember I used to look at the slender, lovely women on stage (such as your beautiful inside and outside self!), and compare you all to me. I compared what I saw as your perfections to my obviously glaring imperfections, and became convinced I could never be like you, never be that lovely, that accomplished, that successful.

    It took a while, but finally I listened long enough to what you all were saying, and what God was telling me in my heart through you. God didn’t want or need me as a carbon copy of any of you. He had you. He needed and wanted me as ME, just as imperfect I was, willing to grow, learn, change and be used by Him for His glory. Like clay with the Potter, my job is only to cooperate with His process. As I become His more finished handiwork, the glory is His, and not mine, because He is doing it and will have done it in me.

  5. Wow …. Sure made me think, how would I have described myself ?? It was like a laser going thru layers …. Now I’m proud of my wrinkles 🙂
    Love you Terri thanks for ministering to the heart !
    Ps – JR’s letter is so cute & powerful hard to believe a 7 yr wrote .

  6. Thanks Terri. Something we all need to remember. “You are beautiful, my friend. You are a child of God. Any stranger can see it. No matter your past, the weight of the imperfections you try to carry, in Christ alone, you are perfect.” Thank you for this specific reminder.

  7. Wonderful post Terri! I was able to share it with our teenagers daughters who are already starting to hear the lies the media, hollywood, and ultimately Satan are trying to tell them.

    Beautiful message from a beautiful lady!


  8. Thank you so much for sharing this! A friend shared this video with me a few weeks ago but it never gets old. Its a wonderful reminder of how beautiful we really are. All of us are so beautiful because of God’s grace but so few really believe or see it. Thank you for posting this reminder and sharing such lovely additions and such wonderful bible verses on the topic as well!


  9. Beautiful post, Terri! Your post would have been such a gift to read as a teenager/young college student (if I would have been open-minded to it :)! Although I grew up with amazing affirming/encouraging parents, their positive deposits were no match for all the self-destructive images I was plugged into. I subscribed to 5 different fitness magazines, plugged into television — especially music videos — AND allowed popular hip hop/rap music to paint images of the female I should be! (It’s painful to type that sentence…remembering the mental turmoil I was always in.) No wonder I was a confused, very lost child! Thank God for women like you in the LIFE community who paint a drastically different image — more of an eternal, purposeful one 😉 I’ve learned a lot about modesty and what matters most! Thank you :o) p.S. If someone were to describe you that knew you for a long time, they would have described you as more beautiful! You are radiant, Terri!

  10. I saw this video a while ago, it still gets to me. The post is so timely to me. I got pricked yesterday when I was told my appearance didn’t measure up to a desireable women. Then God sent this post today. Thank you so much for the reminder and thank you so much for the book and verse recommendation. These are verses to definately claim as daily reminders. I just imagine what our world would like if we as women walked in the light of this truth continously. You are an amazing encourager and blessing to all women through this blog.

    with great appreciation

  11. I love that ad. I guess I wasn’t too surprised to see that all of the women saw themselves In a more negative way than a stranger did. What a great reminder for all of us women! As I look back at photos of my more youthful self, I wish I’d have enjoyed my looks and slenderness more, and had been less critical of myself. Now I’d love to look like I did back then! Instead of thinking that way, I guess the lesson is to enjoy this almost 52-year-old body, because I’ll never be this young again!!

    I do feel that my inner beauty is better now than it was then; and I guess that’s the real lesson. I’ve been through more trials than I ever expected, nursing my husband through a bone marrow transplant and living with his incurable disease for the past 17 years. So glad that he’s doing so much better, especially since I now have a rare and incurable cancer. The strange thing is, these have been some of the best experiences of our lives. Who would’ve thought? God does everything for a reason.

    Bless you, Terri!*

    *i don’t know why, but you have a way of bringing things out of people. I’m surprised I’m sharing this with people I don’t know. You have a gift, Mrs. Brady!

    • Mary, Thank YOU! I am so excited to see what God is doing in your life. Thank you for your openness in your comment- how God will be blessed as you let His beauty shine through you!As your trials continue, may you feel the Lord with you in these storms of life. God bless,Terri

  12. Terri, Thank you for giving us as women all a proper mirror to look in today! I love the reminder for myself but even more as I raise our daughter. I want her to esteem what the Lord sees and not world values!

  13. Terri, thank you once again for an amazing post! My 8-year-old daughter and I LOVE the Dove campaign for real beauty, and one of our dreams is to start our own foundation that helps women realize how beautiful they are in God’s eyes, not the world’s. She says, “Mommy, I’ll help all the little girls and you help all the women!” And, God willing, that’s exactly what I intend to do!

    I started to cry watching all the women see the difference between the two pictures. I could just see God holding their faces in His hands and looking at them lovingly and saying, “See, you are so beautiful to me!”

    Unfortunately this world does not focus on inner beauty, and it certainly doesn’t put an emphasis on TRUE beauty…the beauty that comes from knowing you are a child of God; perfectly handcrafted and designed by the Creator of the universe. As a woman and the mother of two beautiful little girls, it saddens me to see the direction this world is going.

    On the other hand, I know there is an army of people out there–not just in our LIFE organization, but all over the world–who are fighting back! Thank you, Terri, for being such a huge part of that. You are such an inspiration to me and my daughters, and I hope you realize how big of a dent you have put in this world just by being you!

    Before I go, I wanted to share my favorite piece of scripture with you. One that, when I first read it, knocked the wind out of me and touched me in a way that’s hard to describe. It’s Psalm 139, and I turn to this one any time I’m feeling down on myself. It reminds me that I am so special in God’s eyes, and that He is always with me, watching.

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

    Again, thanks for another thought-provoking post. And thanks for emulating what all women (and girls) should be aspiring to!

    Your Sister in Christ,

  14. Terri,
    Thanks for sharing this perspective on beauty. I remember recently complementing a friend recently on her beauty. She in turn returned the complement. I made the comment that I don’t always feel beautiful. My friend, Dorthy, then said that we as women tend to be very harsh on ourselves that way. I know that I have heard you speak about inner beauty before and I always love your insights. Thanks for the reading material, they are greatly appreciated.

  15. Thank you Terri. It bears out the truth that we compare our imperfections to another’s strengths. It reminds us that real beauty is not skin deep.

  16. Pingback: Because I’m Me, That’s Why | cathykilpatrickleadership

  17. Thank you Terri. This is such a great illustration of how, as women, we often look on ourselves. It reminds me of a quote I saw somewhere “You are beautiful. I know because I made you” – God

    Thanks for the reminder

  18. Thank you Teri for a reminder I alway need reminding of! And thank you for being a “real” example!!! So blessed to be associated with such a terrific group of amazing ladies!!!!
    The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”. God bless you!!!

  19. It’s so true how we think about ourselves. My family and I got in a car accident about three weeks ago. My jaw is broken and my teeth was pushed forward. At first after they cut the wires so I can open my mouth again I couldn’t smile because of the swelling. Now that I can smile I found myself not wanting to laugh or smile because of they way I looked. Then I realized that it doesn’t matter how I look but what’s inside that counts. That’s what people look at the most! Thanks for share the video

    • Wow. So sorry to hear about your accident, but I love your overcoming attitude. Insides matter!! Praise God you are healing. I pray you feel better soon! Keep smiling, Terri

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