(Skip the first two full paragraphs if you feel it's too long...lol)
Yesterday afternoon I went to Barnes & Noble for a while. I picked up this book that my friend pointed out the other day since he heard it was a great book and...I guess I trust his judgement. :) I wandered over by the windows where the reading chairs were. As I was getting situated into my over-sized, over-stuffed seat (just the way I like it...), I was taken aback by a warning, "Get the EFF outta here..." I paused with confusion. Was he talking to me?? The stubborn side of me brushed it off and sat down. I then looked over at the man to which the warning belonged and realized he was talking to his book! Haha, it was a book about some war...I want to say Vietnam. And by the man's appearance, I'd assume he had been in that war. He commented to the pages here and there as I settled in and opened the pages to my own book...
I knew Rob Bell by the videos he's made, but never have I come across his books until now. This one describes the relationship between sexuality(energy geared toward outside sources like relationships-not only romantic) and spirituality. He has this ability to express the deepest concepts through the simplest of words...
But here's what I'm getting at...!!!
Through the first chapter, he described how sexuality has a lot to do with humanity (Rob Bell, please forgive me if I butcher this explanation! lol). He described one of the concentration camps that was receiving aid after the holocaust and wars were over. It was horrifying to read the description of it all: the corpses, filth, and the people who, after all that, looked like corpses and were now completely numb to the filth. They were no longer human because people stripped away their identity...all they had were the numbers printed on their bodies.
It's also like when a group of guys see a girl walk by them and one of them asks his buddies, "How do you rate that?" And they go about putting numerical value to parts of her anatomy.
They are no longer human...just a number on their arm.
She is no longer human, but degraded down to a "that."
For some reason, a massive order of lipstick came into the concentration camp from outside aid. At first, it didn't seem to make sense, but suddenly a scene of these women who had been imprisoned and starved were wearing lipstick and something deep down seemed to be glowing again. There was a description of a woman, dead and bare in her bunk, with scarlet lips. In her hand she clutched that tube of lipstick. That hope of being human again.
And as for "that" girl, when looked over like a thing, she became an object. And it didn't only affect her, but those guys who looked her way. They lost sight of who she really is: a person. A woman. She has a history, dreams and, most importantly, was made in God's image.
All of these people were meant to be looked at as more.
On my way home that day, I drove past a group of shirtless guys running along the road...
Bear with me here, I'm going to be very blunt, but I know you'll appreciate it cuz I know you've been here too.
My first reaction was to look away, embarassed in an empty car that my mind may take me to places I didn't want to go...
But then I thought about what I had read and looked straight at them while saying this to myself:
"These guys were made in God's image. They have a past and hopes for the future. They have weaknesses and strengths, mistakes and pride..."
WOW!!! I can't even explain what a difference that made.
Today, my brother was watching TV and as I passed by I heard a preview for a movie. In it the man said to the woman, "I think you're beautiful...and I just want to spend some time with you."
What validation to her creation! It's no wonder why women long to know that they are beautiful. It affirms the Creator of her beauty. How you treat the creation is much related to how you feel about the creator.
Finishing the next chapter was like a cherry on top. A perfect ending to my short time at the bookstore. The chapter was called something like, "Sexy on the Inside."
One of the final paragraphs described to me exactly the girl I want to be:
(Rob Bell in reference to a girl he knows):
"I've realized over time that she is a deeply connected person. There is a certain potency to her presence that is hard to describe. She owns no property and she lives as simply as she possibly can because she committed early in her life to give everything she had to making the world the kind of place God dreams it could be. It is a joy to be with her because everything matters in her life. Nothing is shallow, or trite, or superficial. She's very funny, and smart, and compassionate - a magnificent human. Because she's been exploring her own soul so long, she knows herself inside and out. She's at peace, and it's contagious."