Women have a God-given beauty within them that when squashed and sullied grows a depression. When we discover Gods view of what is beautiful, then hope can blossom in a seemingly barren field.
She was 1.52m (5ft) high, never applied any makeup, no fancy hairstyle, diamond earrings or expensive gowns.
And she was beautiful.
A framed pencil sketch of Mother Teresa hangs in our hallway.
I walk by it every day.
More often than not, I pause and look.
And when I do, it never fails: every time I feel strangely captured by an awareness of indescribable beauty, a beauty that opens the eyes of my soul to see and appreciate what my natural sight can neither see nor appreciate.
I look at Mother Teresa and I want God.
Crabb, Dr. Larry. Fully Alive: A Biblical Vision of Gender That Frees Men and Women to Live Beyond Stereotypes
I’m stepping into dangerous ground when I am discussing women. It’s full of ‘loaded term’ landmines. Be gracious.
Loaded term landmines
A loaded term is a word and phrase with strong connotations.
What comes into your mind when you hear the word. I typed in the word beauty into Google and back came locations of local ‘beauty’ parlors. Google images provided pictures of young ladies with makeup, style, and fashion.
Mother Teresa wasn’t there.
We have a skin depth view of what beauty is.
‘She is captivating.’ Does this again steer your thinking towards a physical representation of beauty? Google images take me to bikini-clad young ladies.
Peter, a follower of Jesus, writes this to some women.
There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.
What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. 1 Peter 3:3-6 The Message
When naked Adam saw naked Eve for the first time, I don’t think it was the physicality of her nakedness that grabbed his attention.
No, he saw someone like himself. Remember he had just finished naming all the animals, and none had the ‘wow’ she had.
This beauty captured the beauty of what God was like and she welcomed him into intimacy.
She was captivating and she captured his heart as no other creation had done so.
Adam looked at Eve and wanted God.
The blooming of beauty
She was alive and I was captivated. I looked at her and praised God.
My mother had a healing of her depression. She had got some proper medical treatment, some prayer and then a flower opened for the world to enjoy.
A sunflower had brought its brilliance out for all the world to enjoy.
I don’t know what had squashed her soul. What had caused the onset of depression but my mother was more alive than I had ever seen her before.
The fear of women
The chief fear of a woman is undesirability.
At the core of a woman’s being, they ask – ‘Is there anything desirable about me.’
The lies they say to themselves are
- ‘I am ugly, both externally and internally.’
- ‘No one loves me.’
- ‘I have no beauty.’
True beauty comes from within.
It doesn’t fade away with aging but matures when there is a single-mindedness to serve. At least that’s what we see in Mother Teresa.
Depression is often linked to a devaluing of the beauty women have. Every woman loves to be told in many and various ways that they are beautiful.
An unshakeable beauty
The calling now is to grow an unshakeable beauty within women. Being beautiful is an innate part of who every woman is.
The world may try and sully inner beauty with external beauty pageantry, but there is more, way more, and humanity loses out when we don’t encourage what is beautiful in a woman’s heart.
Nourishing the good
My daughter recently gave me a sweatshirt for fathers day.
It was exactly what I needed. I couldn’t help but be so thankful for her thoughtfulness. There was a sense of Gods beauty coming alive in her.
I looked at my daughter and I worshipped.
Could we nourish this observation habit?
Could we nurture and encourage the feminine invitation to know God?
I hope so.
Here is how.
Look for it. Stand back and let Spirit (Holy) open your eyes to see the glimpses of feminine glory. Then worship.
Quotes to consider
- A woman is feminine when she relates in a way that invites others to see something about God that is irresistibly attractive, something about the relational nature of God that she was created to enjoy and reveal. Larry Crabb. Fully Alive
- Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance. Mother Teresa
- People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
- Practicing spirituality is what brings healing and creates resilience. Brené Brown
- When you regarded me
Your eyes imprinted your grace in me,
In this, you loved me again,
And thus my eyes merited
To also love what you see in me. . . .
Let us go forth together to see ourselves in your beauty.
St. John of the Cross, “Spiritual Canticle,” 32, 36.
Questions to answer
- What other ‘loaded terms’ are there related to women?
- Describe a beautiful woman you know. Maybe it’s yourself.
- What destroys or whittles away at a woman’s beauty?
Image cc: Lucas Marconnet