So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
~ Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
I'm inclined to believe God is particularly fond of the female gender and you would be hard-pressed to convince me otherwise.
Before I became a wife,
before my womb was cradle to new life and I was crowned in the glory of motherhood,
before I was someone's daughter or grandbaby or sister or friend,
before first breath escaped from my lungs or my eyes squinched to the starkness of light,
God made me wonderful. And though I may not have known it, my soul was already well aware (Psalm 139:14).
God made you wonderful, too, and before you cast off that idea as too simplistic or trite or, well, Jesus-y, think on it.
Human beings are created in the image of God, the Divine One from Whom all things are created. To meditate on that and its implications will blow your mind, much like the concept of infinity or the Trinity or eternity.
Settle your spirit.
Quiet the noise.
Free your imagination to consider what it means actually to believe we're God's image bearers in this world.
I can't think on these things too long because it's like staring at the sun with naked eyes.
It was after the birth of my daughter, our first child, that I began to observe God's favor toward women.
Her gender was determined at the moment of conception (as is the case for all of us), though in the heavenly realms she was always female.
My body was designed to incubate life prior to delivery, and following her physical birth, my body continued to sustain her life. My body!
I wanted to shake everyone around me and shout DO YOU SEE THIS MIRACLE?! IS THIS NOT EVIDENCE OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD?!!
During each pregnancy ~
I watched in awe as my babies sommersaulted ripples across my swollen belly...
I thrilled to the jolt of their hiccups (though not as much when they used my bladder as a trampoline)...
I was astonished as my breasts filled, painfully so, for my babies' tiny, eager lips, and equally amazed as they drained me to satisfy their hunger, how even the thought of this could cause my milk to let down and leave my clothes sour and soaked and me running for cover.
For all they can do, for all they're created to accomplish, men will never know what I'm talking about.
And though not all women will eventually give birth, it is womankind who bears the distinction, the honor, of conceiving and carrying and bringing forth life.
It breaks my heart to know there are countries and cultures that don't cherish the sacredness of their women, who distain them, abuse them or relegate them to second class...or worse.
The esteem of women is seeded in Creation and she is the carrier of its redemption.
Let's begin to explore the wonder of a women through that lens.