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Last Sunday, the pastor at my church gave a lesson on Song of Solomon, Chapter 7. For those of you who may not know, Song of Solomon is a passionate book of the Bible describing the love and marriage of King Solomon to his bride. Chapter 7 gets a little hot and heavy, making you want to check the cover to make sure you are still actually reading the Bible! Solomon starts it off by describing the beauty of his love. It is after they have been married for a while, and the beauty he describes is so much deeper than surface. Sure, he admires the way his love looks. But when Solomon tells his wife how beautiful she is, he uses language that describes her as intelligent, safe and comforting. It is a beauty that comes from the inside and affects everything Solomon sees when he looks at his wife.

This is how a man in love with his wife sees her, and the pastor made the point that as women, our beauty is so much more than how we often measure ourselves. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I need to accept the wonderful fact that, no matter how I see myself, my children and my husband see me as beautiful. This sermon came right on time and reiterated exactly what I have been trying to learn. I decided to meditate on this and try to write what beauty like that looked like and felt like. At first I started writing in third person. It didn’t work. I needed to own it, to personalize it, and so I started again. The following poem came out.

Redefined Beauty

My beauty is a flame that
burns from deep inside
where love grows
It passes through the warm chambers
of compassion and understanding
Gently making its way around the
fires of intelligence
Until it emerges
My heart exposed
When you see it, you will know
This is not the beauty sought
by the shallow empires of gloss and sell
This is not the beauty captured
on the pages of a magazine or
in the numbers on a scale
It cannot be marred by growth or
greyed by time
No, my beauty is the everlasting solace
of a gentle spirit and an
open soul