Raising a daughter and three sons in a beauty-obsessed culture has certainly posed some significant challenges, but thankfully nearly thirty years ago I met a woman who embodied the very essence of beauty. Long before The Daughter was but a babe in arms, I found myself struggling to process the conflicting messages that bombarded me in this area. How could a concept that has been so totally corrupted by man be redeemed? What did walking out redemption of an idea like beauty look like (no pun intended)? Could I truly embrace the truth that beauty emanates from the soul of a woman or a man as they mirror the image of the Living God as opposed to the cultural mandate that the reflection in the mirror is the most important representation of beauty? How could I not succumb to the seduction of a culture that cuts, carves, and transforms both men and women, but predominantly women, into objects that bear little resemblance to real human beings and furthermore, serves to sexualize them in abhorrent ways? And perhaps most importantly, how in the world would I be able to teach my daughter and my sons what I struggle to understand, embrace, and practice myself.?
And then I met a woman whom the Lord used to help me understand the concept of beauty in a powerfully transcendent way. She became the representation of the plumb-line to which I returned over and over as I struggled to redefine my ideas about beauty. Her name was Sadie Yoder, and she was the undoubtedly the most beautiful woman I have ever known.
|Mom and Dad Yoder|
|Sadie as a young woman|
I am blessed to know many beautiful women, but what I find most beautiful about them is the strength of their spirits, the tenderness of their faith, and the genuine lack of artifice that they possess. It is never the size of the waistline or the lack of wrinkles on their skin. It is the way that they look when they smile or when they laugh with joy. It is the undeniable and beautiful glory of the heavenly Father I see reflected in them.
Mom Yoder, I am missing you today. I am missing your beauty and how you helped me understand what the world could not. I am so thankful to have known both you and Dad. You made a difference in my life. I am comforted and encouraged by the thought that at long last you are worshipping together at the feet of the Beautiful Savior, Jesus himself.