Dear woman

Dear woman,

Today, on a day that oozes consumerism and shallow words, I want you to hear one thing:

You are beautiful.

You are beautiful, not because you dress a certain way or possess any particular features that our society ascribes to beauty.

You are beautiful, not because you can serve a purpose to me, but because you have purpose and value regardless of any other person on Earth.

You are beautiful because you are human, and the heart and character of the Father is revealed in you.

Dear woman, you are beautiful because you possess a passion and a fire and a voice that was meant to be heard, never silenced.

You are beautiful because for far too long, people have pushed you to the side and still you stand, full of grace and power and dignity.

You are beautiful even though too many men like me have manipulated, coerced, and abused you; and while I repent and promise to be a better man than I ever was before, I know that many times the words, “I’m sorry,” ring hollow, and too many will not follow those words with action.

You are beautiful because you rise in spite of generations of abuse and mistreatment, and still carry within you the capacity to love, and the strength to do so in a still-broken world.

Dear woman, you are beautiful because you deserve far better than this world has given you. Your worth is not found in how you dress, the shape of your body, the color or texture of your skin or hair, the person you love, the job that you hold, the children that you have (or don’t), or any other measure of value that the world would try to place upon you.

You are beautiful because you are a revelation of the Glory of God each and every day, regardless of what you do or say.

Dear woman, you are beautiful.

And you deserve to know it.