Just The Way I Am
by Rev. Robert J. Hermley

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On the streets of Rome, I gazed upon the marble statue of a Roman soldier.  Our guide said it had been carved about the year 100 A.D.  Time had been kind to the statue, but in three or four places one could see that it had been rebuilt.  The arm showed signs of having been broken once and replaced; it bore a slightly different color where it had been refitted - a finger and part of the nose were likewise marked.  Yet it was indeed a masterpiece, preserved from an ancient date and still a work a work of beauty.

I mused that in the United States we would have long since torn it down and replaced it with something more modern - something more appealing to the local architecture.  But there it was, in the heart of Rome, in all of its beauty and imperfections standing there for all to see as it was.

And I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if all of us could stand there like that statue, and say to the world, "Here I am with all my good points and with all of my imperfections. I'm not going to try to appear younger than I am, nor try to hide my blemishes.  I am trying to be a work of art as God made me, but I do have some scars.  I've made some mistakes.  I will try to be the best I can, but if you want to love me, you must accept me as I am."