Growing and Changing | from Diane

by Elouise

bad hair day

Here’s a children’s sermon from Diane for all us adults who may not like what we see in the mirror. Or the news we just got from the doctor about what’s coming down the road. Read on…

10 October 1993
This week I brought two things to show you!

Here’s the first one. It was in my office. This picture is 11 ½ years old. I know because I took it. Do you know who those people are?

…You’re right! They’re my beautiful children. Do they look like that now?

…No! That was 11 ½ years ago. Those two little boys are in college now. I have to look up to them now, they’re so tall! And that sweet little girl isn’t taller than I am yet. But she just tried on my new shoes and really liked the way they fit! They wouldn’t have fit 11 ½ years ago. In fact, all my children have grown and changed a lot.

Let me show you another picture that’s 11 years old. It wasn’t in my office. It was on top of a file cabinet, getting all dusty. It’s not even in a frame anymore.

So who is this person? [much laughter]

…Yeah! Pastor L! Why are you laughing? Is it his glasses?

…His hair? Oh! You’re right! He had different hair! When I first saw him he was teaching my seminary class, and this is the way he looked—just like that picture! When I got home I told my husband that the man teaching my class has hair curlier than mine! I liked it that he had the nerve to wear it that way. I admired that. But he’s changed some, too, hasn’t he? Yeah.

I like pictures because they let us see people in their most beautiful poses.  I saw some of you come to have your church directory pictures made, all dressed up, hair just perfect.  I saw some men come in with coats and ties.  I didn’t even know some of them had a coat!  But there they were with everyone else. All dressed up and proper, every hair in place. I can’t wait to get the new church directory so I can look at all those beautiful faces!

I also like pictures because you can compare old pictures with how somebody is now. You can see how much they’ve grown and changed. I have some really old church directories that show some of your parents. They’ve changed and grown a lot.

All of us are growing and changing.

Pictures, though, can only show how beautiful we are on the outside.  There’s another kind of beauty–I call it beauty on the inside, the real you. In fact, it’s more important than how we look on the outside.

You know, you might wake up some day and just have a bad hair day.  Or you might have chicken pox all over your face.  But you can still be beautiful on the inside by the way you act, and treat other people, how well you mind what your mom or dad tells you, how you get along with your sisters or brothers, or your friends, and how well you listen to the teacher at school.

There are ways we can be beautiful on the inside that don’t show up in pictures.

Did you know we also grow and change on the inside? We do. We grow in how well we know and love God, and how much we want to do what pleases God. That makes us beautiful on the inside, and it’s more important than how we look on the outside. I hope we’re all growing and changing on the inside so that we’re more beautiful on the inside. Let’s pray together.

Thank you, Father, for pictures that help us remember how much we’ve changed and grown on the outside. Thank you that we can also grow and change on the inside. I pray that when we look at pictures of people we know, we’ll see beautiful people. Beautiful because of the way they treat us and relate to us.

Help us to decide we want to grow more beautiful on the inside, not just on the outside. And help us each week in church and Sunday School to learn how to do just that. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 August 2015
Photo from