2014 has been the most remarkable year of my life. By the time this year is over it appears that I will have been cured of a life-threatening disease and given a brand new pair of hips, all with the help of a wonderful team of medical professionals and health insurance of course. But these events will not have been the most amazing things to happen in my life this year. The most amazing thing to my mind will have been the illuminating experience of having read the Bible cover to cover. Good Sunday Morning Dear Friend!
The “War on Women”
In the political season it is hard to ignore political matters, even though most of us would prefer to do just that. It does seem to bring out the worst in us, but the truth of the matter is there nothing of earthly substance that affects our lives and the lives of future generations more. By some accounts, it seems a certain political party is beginning to regret its choice to focus its message on “women’s issues” rather than economic ones.
Here’s where paying respect comes in to play. It’s one thing to have an adult conversation about women’s issues. It’s quite another to intentionally hyper-inflate a matter into something it is not for the purpose of advancing an unrelated agenda. It’s a vulgar insult to the mind because it requires a lack of self-respect for the mind to accept. More importantly, it is an insult to the women of the world who really are suffering the unimaginable horrors of true evil…evil that goes unchallenged by those with the power to stop it!
But there’s something else, something deeper and more profound at work…which is the part where paying attention comes into play. A while ago, a good friend had sent me this amazing interview with Alice Von Hildebrand. During the ninety minute interview I found myself in total awe of her intellect and grace. She painted a verbal portrait of womanhood that, in effect, reintroduced me (after 61 years) to the opposite sex! Please watch! Do it for your mother…do it for your sister…do it for your wife…do it for your daughter. It is the Truth about who women really are! Are you with me so far?
Still on the paying attention part…Now here you are with a teenage daughter in your home. You watch them watch the image of womanhood that oozes from the cable TV into your home. You watch them apply that image to themselves with make-up and clothes (or lack thereof) as if it is all they have to offer in the world, while their true essence is slowly put to sleep! You cry because you have no words, no power to awaken the sleeping beauty. You listen to their midnight breakup with boyfriends…hysterical sobbing sounds…and you cry some more as you recognize the surrender of true power and dignity in those you love the most.
Are you ready for the best part? Here’s where the #1 MOST important thing comes into play…the Love of God! So the very next day after that torturous night of crying, with the stage having been so perfectly set by Ms. Von Hildebrand, you just happen to be reading the book of Proverbs as you come upon Proverbs 31 verse 10 which literally takes you to the end of the most wisdom-packed book of the Bible! God in the perfect moment at the perfect time imparted to me the Truth of Women. Their real beauty, their strength, their dignity, their courage…the radiance of their soul! This is the true essence of what lays beneath applied layers of make-up and ignorance…theirs and ours!
Proverbs 31: 10-31
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.