"It is nearing the end of the sixth day, the end of the Creator's great labor, as Adam steps forth, the image of God, the triumph of his work. He alone is pronounced the son of God. Nothing in creation even comes close. Picture Michelangelo's David. He is.. magnificent. Truly, the masterpiece seems complete. And yet, the Master says that something is not good, not right. Something is missing... and that something is Eve.
And the Lord God casts a deep slumber on the human, and he slept, and He took one of his ribs and closed over the flesh where it had been, and the Lord God built the rib He had taken from the human into a woman and He brought her to the human (Genesis 2:21-23 Alter).
She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve. She is the Master's finishing touch. How we wish this were an illustrated book, and we could show you now some painting for sculpture that captures this, like the stunning Greek sculpture of the goddess Nike of Samothrace, the winged beauty, just alighting on the prow of a great ship, her beautiful form revealed through the thin veils that sweep around her. Eve is... breathtaking" (John & Stasi Eldridge, Captivating, 25).
I love this.
This part of the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldridge definitely points out something that captures my heart and contrasts what my mind has grown to believe about myself as a woman. I have recently looked into a couple different sources that take the Eve creation story and use it to redeem the expectations and demands that this world has put on women and their appearance. I think this is such a strong truth. Not really one of those things you can debate or argue, Genesis spells it out pretty clear that Eve is the fulfillment of something missing, that she is good, & designed to fill man's void, & designed completely in God's mind & image. & How absolutely outrageous does that sound? But what is even more outrageous is the way I cannot find the ability in me to believe those things daily about myself the way I can believe it about Eve when i read the story. I continue to daily believe that there is always something more I could have or buy that would enhance my beauty. That there is always something more or less I could be doing to make myself a more-perfect woman. That I was created slightly less than beautiful.
Tonight I had the opportunity to attend another of Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet Events, this one at the church I attend currently, Rock Harbor Church Fullerton, & this image and story of Eve; breathtaking, hand-crafted, & completing, came to my mind. This event was for women only, with the exception of pastor Steve Carter who lead discussion. Looking around at all the different women in the audience & then up at the stage at Kendall Payne capturing everyone's hearts during her performance, & up at Shauna sharing her heart and passion through her writing & lifestyle, I was reminded of the biblical truths about women, this Eve concept. The beauty of women, & the way it doesn't come from the make up we wear or the cutest boots of the season that we own. But it comes from deep within, this breath taking, void-filling character of a woman is found in her desire to nurture, & to host. Her passion and deep emotion for those people in her life, & the ways she finds to care for them in her own unique way she was designed to.
I look next to me, to my D-group girls. I see breathtakingly beautiful women, not because of any extensive hair-do's or designer clothes. No, their beauty is at their core. Don't get me wrong, these girls also could school me in any fashion show declared on any given day! But even the shabby chic natur of these girls is not what holds their beauty. They are beautiful because of the way they love each other and those around them. They are beautiful when they laugh because they are genuine & strong and honest. They are beautiful when they cry because they are real & compassionate. They embody beauty in the way they act & love. I couldn't have ever asked for girls in my life to love me, call me their own leader, & challenge me in the ways that they do, naturally.
So girls, a few thoughts tonight for you are don't hide. Don't hide behind make up, pony-tails, roommates we think are prettier than ourselves, & even Starbucks cups. & Don't run from God, especially in the doubt of your beauty. Go ahead, get angry at him, disagree with Him or the way He made you, have some doubt, but take all these things and turn to Him with them. Argue with Him, be mad at Him, but don't run away from Him. He is so much bigger than anything you could possibly feel or bring to His table & He is all-wecoming of it. So fight Him & doubt Him, but don't run away, let him walk with you & prove to you He is so much bigger and truer than you sometimes can believe. Let him pursue you & affirm your beauty because He designed you just how he wanted you, as His beloved.
I love you girls.