Yesterday my mind was still pondering my post late Sunday night, wondering what kind of repercussions to expect. The concern for women and the wounds they carry due to the stripping of their true value was still in the forefront of my thoughts. When I opened my Bible to Proverbs, I read the following:
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.--Proverbs 12:18
I thought about the wounds I've had as a woman, finding my value, loving who I am as a package, and the healing that has been done is not because of surgery or some physical makeover. It was not instantaneous because of an act either done by or upon me. In fact, the source of hurt and the source of healing were the same thing: words.
Reckless words wounded me and perverted my view of myself. Kind words, words of vision, words of love healed that perception, and the words were not just verses I memorized. Many of the words were of from human lips. Many were from my husband, but a lot were from other women.
A lot of women believe men are to blame for the devaluing of women. Men contributed. However, if I am honest, I must say the greater damage was done to me not by men but by women. It wasn't men who whispered about my size when I changed clothes in the locker room. It wasn't men who made snide remarks about my not wearing designer clothes. It wasn't men who turned up their noses and whispered comments just loud enough to be heard that criticized my hair, jewelry, or fingernails. No, all of that came from women.
Last fall I attended my high school reunion. It was wonderful, except for one thing that has stuck in my mind, and honestly, I hope the Lord never lets me forget it. As with all classes, we had the adolescent issues. Some students were known for bigger problems than others, and some had a harder time in our 20s than others. One particular classmate had struggled but had turned her life around in incredible ways. When I hugged her and told her how excited I am for her, I was sincere. She likes her life, and she likes herself, and that is exciting.
The second night of the reunion a group of us got together for dinner, and that particular classmate wasn't there. She needed to be home with her children. Several others met for dinner, though, and we had a lovely time. As we were leaving, a few of us ladies headed to the restroom because that is what we do, and one of our other classmates asked if I had seen "A" the night before. I said I had. She asked if I had looked at her very closely. Uh, well, I noticed she was still beautiful. "Did you notice her boobs?" What?! "Her boobs. Did you notice her boobs?" I can honestly say I didn't. "Well, they aren't as big as they used to be. I think she had a boob job." I was stunned. Twenty years later, and we are still being that catty? I wanted to puke.
I looked at the person in front of me and said, "No, I didn't notice that. I noticed I am now the only one overweight here at the reunion, and since I have brought it up, you won't have to whisper about it in the bathroom. You can talk about it openly," and I left the bathroom feeling like I needed to go home and take a shower.
Bathroom Gossip has gone to church as long as I have known her. She was the Christian who did nothing when everyone else was doing anything. She prided herself on being good and being a Christian, and despite knowing how "A" had changed her life and was having a positive impact on others' lives, all she could think about was whether "A" had had breast reduction?
No, ladies, we cannot blame men for all the damage done to women.
While I hope you are disgusted at Bathroom Gossip's comment, I hope you see the bigger picture. At that moment, she held the power to pierce a heart or to heal a heart. At any given moment, we have the same power.
Satan has done a great job of creating an atmosphere of competition through building on our insecurities. The weapons of catty remarks, disapproving looks, and cold shoulders have worked. The devestation is obvious.
We are women, and we have the power to take back what has been stolen. We have the power to restore value and heal hearts. And we don't have to organize some national women's group to do it. We don't need political clout. We don't need a TV. We don't need some platform. We need the wisdom to speak words that heal.
You have great power. You have power to pierce a person's heart. You also have power to bring down the enemy and take that which he has stolen when you choose to release the power of a beautiful word.