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[Beauty’s True Source, Citation: Jim Congdon]

A jarring TV commercial didn’t say a word. It simply shows a series of people who have one thing in common—a nasty injury or scar. There’s a cowboy with a huge scar around his eye, and something wrong with the eye itself; a fellow with a bulbous cauliflower ear; another with horribly callused feet. There’s no explanation at all, simply the Nike swoosh and "Just Do It."

The ad has been analyzed and criticized widely as being incomprehensible and extreme. But the key to the controversial commercial lies in the background music. Joe Cocker sings, "You are so beautiful . . . to me."

To these athletes—the wrestler with the cauliflower ear, the surfer with a shark bite, the bullrider blind in one eye—their injuries are beauty marks. And to their fans, these athletes are beautiful because of their scars. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," says Mike Folino, the ad’s creator.

God’s grace is just as jarring and controversial. Our beauty is found not in us, but in him. He looks down at us—injured, blind, and scarred—and sings, "You are so beautiful . . . to me."

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