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Beauty from Ashes

Beauty from Ashes
  Imagine Tamar: grief-stricken,sobbing,ashes on her head. Her body in a heap on the cold floor. Soot covers her beautiful face and smears the rich colors of her torn robe. Her outward appearance echoes the cavernous darkness in her soul. She is nothing but a tomb.
The door of her room slowly creeps open. A stream of cloudy sunlight pours through the door. A figure of a man takes form within it. Not Absolom. No, she would recognize Absolom anywhere. Her heart jumps with awakening terror, then the figure steps through the door and His visage becomes clear. Tamar has never seen Him before, yet He looks so familiar. Not frightening. And she should be frightened. No man should be entering her chamber. She should run,but she cannot seem to move.
She glances down at the hands that seem paralyzed on her lap, suddenly shamefully aware of her ash covered appearance. Wretchedness sears her heart. She is certain that her violated state is obvious. She despises herself.
"Tamar", the man speaks gently and with warm familiarity.
Her heart sobs, "She is dead!" A slave of shame has taken her place.
He approaches and takes her face in His hands. No one has ever done that before. The overwhelming intimacy turns her face crimson, not with shame but with vulnerability. His thumbs sweep over her cheeks and wipe her tears from her face. As He takes His hands from her face and places them on her head, her throat aches with fresh cries as she sees the filth on His hands. Her filth. He draws back His hands, and she senses something on her head. Perhaps in His mercy He has hooded her disgrace.
The man offers her His hands, still covered with soot, and she takes them. Suddenly she is standing. Trembling. He leads her to the brass mirror hung on the wall. She turns her face away. He lifts her chin. She gives the mirror only a glance. Her heart is startled. She begins to stare. Her face is creamy white. Her cheeks are blushed with beauty. Her eyes are clear and bright. A crown sits on her head, and a veil flows from its jewels to her shoulders. Her torn coat is gone. A garment of fine white linen graces her neck and adonrs her frame. The King's daughter, pure and undefiled. Beauty from ashes.

Written by Beth Moore "Breaking Free"
Find the story of Tamar in 2 Sam 13



Current mood:pensive
If you want to know what the book club is all about its "Captivating", by John and Stasi Eldredge. Jess said she was about to suggest it to her sister who then told her she was reading it, and yesterday I got an email from my friend Rachel that said this...
I don't know if you have read this book or not (knowing you, I'm sure you have) but yesterday I just finished a book by John and Stasi Elderidge called Captivating...  It's all about the soul of women, and deals with why we feel certain ways and respond to certain things the way we do...and it gives us permission to be ourselves!!!  It taught me so much.  It made me feel .... loved, needed, special, empowered, and inspired to be who I am (something I've been stifling).  READ IT NOW if you haven't already. 
So if thats not inspiring you already I thought I would put some quotes in that stood out to me...hope you enjoy, Ash

After years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from begining to end, the cry of God's heart is, "Why don't you choose me?" It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. "You will find me, " says the Lord, "when you seek me with all your heart." (Jer. 19:13). In other words, "Look for me, pursue me-I want you to pursue me." Amazing. As Towzer says, "God waits to be wanted."

He wants to be sought after by those who would know Him. He says "You will find me,when you seek me with all your heart." (Jer. 19:13).There is dignity here. God does not throw himself at any passerby. He is no harlot. If you would know him you must love him;you must seek him with your whole heart. This is crucial to any womans soul. "You cannot simply have me. You must seek me, pursue me. I won't let you in unless I know you love me."

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, is draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero. Would that we were all so fortunate.

To experience the strength of a man is to have him speak on our behalf. For when men abuse with words, we are pierced. Their strength has wounded us. When they are silent, we are starved. They have offered no strength;they have abandoned us. But when they speak with us, hear us, offer their words to us and on our bahalf, something in our hearts are able to rest.

The strength of a man is first a soulish strength-a strength of heart. And yes, as he lives it out, owns it, inhabits his strength, he does become more handsome. More attractive. As the fruit of an inner reality.

So the choice of a woman in not to conjure beauty, but let her defenses down.To set aside her normal means of survival and just let her heart show up. Beauty comes with it.