I walked into town the other day feeling like the strong, classy, independent woman that I occasionally, sometimes, but not very often pretend to be, and I was reminded that, as a female missionary, I bring something really special to the mission field.
Yup, I’m talking about boobs. But, don’t worry – I brought my other lady parts along, too.
It’s really a teeny, tiny detail. One which I’m reminded of daily by taxi drivers, construction workers, convenience store clerks, boy scouts, garbage men, police officers, and gas station attendants. What can I say? These Latin boys are extremely generous with their appreciation for the female body. Like, crazy generous — to the degree that I feel as though I could be a limbless, one-eyed, drunk transient in a wheelbarrow and the guys here would still make it a priority to roll down their car window and howl their approval of the fact I have a va… erm…well… that I’m a girl.
And you know what?
I totally don’t hate it.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to hate it. As a woman, I’m supposed to feel objectified by the catcalls and horn honking. As a missionary, I’m supposed to feel embarrassed by my own sexuality and particularly horrified by the possibility that I may be causing my brother to stumble, or whatever. As a human being, I should feel degraded by being cajoled like an animal. But if I’m being really honest, and I am here, I have to tell you that -while I’m sort of uncomfortable with the aggressive nature of all these Latin boys – they….um….
…They make me feel pretty.
And I like that.
Granted; This confession comes from a woman who, starting at 12, began to wear makeup at every given opportunity. My Mom would be banging on the bathroom door at 4 in the morning, yelling, “It’s a fishing trip, not a fashion show!” So, I guess that just shows you how long, exactly, I’ve been wrapped up in the superficial business of beauty.
But when I’m being really, really honest, which I’m gonna try to do here, I have to tell you that these Latin boys don’t actually make me feel all that pretty. I mean, they’re not exactly selective with their off the cuff marriage proposals. I’ve seen chubby grannies in mini-skirts get hit on waiting for the bus. So, no, it’s not about being pretty.
It’s more than that.
It’s about being visible. I think. And wanted. Maybe.
It’s about being loved.
Which we all know starts with being lovable in the first place.
So the Latin boys do their thing, and it stirs up some kind of dirt in my soul, a dust cloud of girlish longing that obscures the goodness of what God, Himself, built into me. See, what my heart knows, and what my head screws up, is that I was created to be Loved.
Apart from boobs.
Apart from blogs.
Apart from making the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet.
Loved, apart from every little thing I let define me and apart from how I constantly find myself unworthy.
Loved, apart from the Latin boys and their wily, wily ways.
Loved, because when the Creator of the Universe knit me together, he did it with intent, whispering, “You, Baby Girl, you are meant for love.”
Now, if I could only leave it to Him to Love me…