I began reading at the very end of the first chapter (through to the end of the second chapter), starting with the section “The Heart of a Man”. It describes the way a man perceives his role in the world- or at least, the way he should perceive it. It says that every man wants “a beauty to rescue”…Do they really?
Ever since I was a little little girl, I loved the concept of being rescued, but I very seldom was the “princess” but rather the “prince”. Yes… when my friends in daycare and my sisters would play, I MADE my sister be “john smith” when we played barbies…but when we played without toys…yep. I was “Scar” crawling on all fours to the “den” made out of blankets and cardboard where the lionesses and their cubs slept at night, keeping them safe. I was ALWAYS the evil villian…why? Because I’m a drama queen and the bad guy is always the most fun to play. However the bad guy is seldom a girl- so yes, I was the bad GUY. Ever since that and a lot of painful experiences growing up, I tended to steer clear of the girly things. I didn’t want to be pretty when I was young- I realized the world just wasn’t like that.
At the age of 13 I decided I’d like to join the army and get blown up. Because maybe then I could count for something since the whole “being a girl” thing didn’t work out, as defined by my first crush and family circumstances. But still in my heart there was a longing. A longing that even in my all black clothes, short “boy hair” and rough sarcastic attitude I would be found irresistible. That’s what I wanted. For a boy to look at me and not be able to take his eyes off me. For whatever reason. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be found astonishing. Irreplaceable. Perfect in his eyes. Though I would have never admitted that to myself or anyone else. Not even my closest friends or family members. Because to long for something so dangerous, was weakness.
No man wanted to rescue me…because I was not beautiful. Little did I know, I was looking at it all wrong.
My mom and I spent a lot of time talking the day my ex-boyfriend broke up with me and shattered my desperate heart. However, through all the pain I remember telling her I felt better. I was free from the constant “I need to look perfect cause we’re going out tonight” and “I have to always say the right things”. I hated giving him what he wanted and yet I loved it. I wanted him to inquire about me. I wanted him to search my eyes for answers to his questions about me that I wanted him SO much to have. He never did. Our dates were of him making stupid jokes and constant hugs. He just needed me to pacify needs and desires of his own heart. And it was the same for me, in dating him. My mom tried to tell me that dating and pursuit was a “chase”. A chase????
Yes. The man is AFTER the woman. The woman is a mystery that he is to unveil. To unravel as she lets him closer and closer into her heart. When I told my ex that he had my heart after 2 weeks of dating, he warned me not to give it to him so quickly. But still I did. He wanted to chase me out of instinct. But I wanted love so badly I didn’t want to wait, and as far as I was concerned, there was nothing to unveil in me. Nothing in me was that special. Life isn’t like the movies.
Needless to say I did not understand the element of a “chase”. However now I am coming to understand this. In the book, John talks about how a woman and a man thrive when each of them is in the right place. He says:
“A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman. His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman, loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man, it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero.”
A hero. Wow. My heart just flutters at the concept. That a man would be the hero of a woman even simply by protecting her, admiring her, respecting her and adoring the feminine heart she longs to set free. I want a hero. I need a hero. I need that masculinity to feel safe in my own heart.
Eve- the crown of creation
The very first woman has a lot to tell the women of today. Stasi describes in this section the magnificent creation of this world. It is interesting, how Eve was the last creation of God when He formed our world. He created the earth, the sea, the sky, the plants, animals, and all manner of sea creatures. Then he created MAN. However something was missing. Something was still not complete.
“And the Lord God cast a deep slumber on the human, and he slept, and He took one of his ribs and closed over the flesh where it had been, and the Lord God built the rib He had taken from the human into a woman and He brought her to the human.” -Gen. 2:21-23
Adam was not complete without Eve. Why? The image of God was not complete without her. Wow. Reading this astounded me. Adam is the masculinity in God. He is the strength, the leadership, the protection. And yet still there is something missing. So God created WOMAN. The gentle, fierce, strong, and BEAUTIFUL portrayal of God.
Until Eve came into existence Gods image being portrayed through us was not complete. Stasi says “She has a crucial role to play, a destiny of her own.” But this then opens up another astonishing concept. Because we are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”) we are portraying the desires of God, because our hearts are made from His. This means that as desperately as a woman wants to be adored, loved, pursued and unveiled…So does God.
WOW. God wants us to SEEK Him. He wants us to seek Him just as much as a man would seek and pursue a woman he desperately loved. The pain I so often feel from not being cherished as I wish I could be…God feels that too…and I am sorry to say that I am too often the man whom does not put effort into romancing his love. The man who fails to see the captivating beauty in a woman. Wow.
I used to write love letters to God. I had within this past year gotten out of habit. I can see how much that probably hurt or disappointed God. His desire to be loved and sought after remained unfilled. Just the concept really puts things into perspective for me. I’m going to be actively searching for Him. I’m going to write Him love letters. I’m going to pray more earnestly for Him to speak. I’m going to praise Him more.
The Beauty in God
Flowers. I love them. John describes what spring looks like in Colorado where he lives. He talked about how the storms with massive clouds and rain graced the ground bringing up wildflowers that peppered the green grass. wow. A friend of mine once said that God spoke to her through the sky. I had never thought about God speaking through His creation in such a way- but He does. Ever since I was twelve I was taking all kinds of pictures of flowers and the sky, absolutely captivated by the intricate details that drew the eye. Why do men give women flowers to show them affection? BECAUSE WE ADORE THEM! Or at least I do. The way to my heart would certainly be through a beautiful flower with a ribbon tied around it. Why? Because they speak affection with their astounding beauty. It’s as if when given a flower you are being told “You are just as pretty as this, and more.” Wow. I love that feeling. I have only received one flower in my life…and it was the most precious thing I had been given at the age of 16. The delicate petals of the sweet smelling red rose captivated my soul. If it wouldn’t absolutely be weird and ruin the pretty thing, I would eat it (I often like eating things that are pretty…probably why I ate glitter as a child…). It sounds funny…but I wanted to drink in the essence of beauty that this breathtaking flower radiated.
If a flower…one flower, can romance a girls heart so deeply, then how better can it romance us into the love of our God? He CREATED that beautiful flower. He CREATED the alluring smell, the soft petals, the captivating color and shape. When thought of in that light…I can’t help but desire God’s full attention. I can’t help but want to sit in His lap and have Him explain EVERYTHING to me about how He created this lovely thing. And thats just one thing He created!!! Think of the sky, that speaks to my friend. Think of the large mountains. Think of the stars in the sky that glow delicately, but when up close are fiery miniature sun’s. Look at the enchanting moon. The water that can be so peaceful and yet angry and stronger than anything! GOD is a beauty to unveil. Just as we are. Why are people so curious about the world around them??? Because they have the desire to seek out beauty etched into their hearts. To see the intricacies in Gods creation. I doubt I’ll ever look at a rainy day the same way again…
John shares with us a portion of the book for men “Wild at heart”:
“The reason a woman wants a beauty to unveil, the reason she asks, Do you delight in me? is simply that God does as well. God is captivating beauty. As David prays, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek… that I may… gaze upon the beauty of the Lord” (Ps 27:4). Can there be any doubt that God wants to be worshiped? That He wants to be seen, and for us to be captivated by what we see? (Wild at Heart)”
Why Beauty Matters
“Beauty is powerful. It may be the most powerful thing on earth. It is dangerous. Because it matters.”
What does beauty convey??? Beauty conveys comfort.
This portion of the book, really spoke to me. The uneasiness I often feel in allowing myself to be feminine, explains a lot about why I am not feeling beautiful, because my heart is not at rest- yet.
“This is what beauty says. All shall be well. And this is what is is like to be with a woman at rest, a woman comfortable in her feminine beauty. She is enjoyable to be with. She is lovely. In her presence your heart stops holding its breath. You relax and believe once again that all will be well. And this is also why a woman who is striving is so disturbing, for a woman who is not at rest in her heart says to the world, “All is not well. Things are not going to turn out all right.” “Like a fountain troubled,” as Shakespeare said, “muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty.” We need what beauty speaks. What it says is hard to put into words. But part of its message is that all is well. All will be well.”
Stasi talks more on the other things Beauty conveys…beauty comforts, it speaks of eternity, and it draws us to God. Wow.
Why a beauty to unveil?
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,” says the book of proverbs, ”
to search out a matter is the glory of kings” -Prov. 25:2
A woman is a mystery just a her creator. God is a mystery. Part of what draws us so deeply into romance novels is the mystery behind the romance. The constant asking of “what will happen?” “Does he love her?” “what is she thinking?”. God longs to be sought after. He longs to be pursued by our hungry hearts for His love and teaching, and protection. We are often so consumed with theological debate and constant questions about the coming of God and the history of God… but Stasi said something that is so refreshing; “Just like God, a woman is not a problem to be solved, but a vast wonder to be enjoyed.”
We are to ENJOY God. Our hearts should be captivated by the very concept of God. Just as a woman longs to captivate a man. Beauty is the essence of God. And because we are created in the image of God, we too have this essence of beauty.
“No, beauty is an essence that is given to every woman at her creation.”
I’m beautiful. Because God is, and has made me as such after His own heart.
The chapter closes with this:
“There is a radiance hidden in your heart that the world desperately needs.”