It is more than enough that Christ should love us and call us friends. But it is absolutely astounding that he calls us his ‘beloved.’ He is not simply interested in salvaging our lives. His is determined to ‘glorify’ us…to perfect us in the image of Christ. So much so, that even our worst moments, our most hideous scars, even our most atrocious actions, will be redeemed and made into something beautiful. As His artist’s hammer chisels away at the hard wood of our sin and our flesh, he is designing something beautiful, not just of the stump, but also of the shavings. Nothing of our true selves will be lost. Nothing that is touched by his glorious fingers will pass away.