i wasn't sure i understood her the first time she answered. i suppose i wasn't paying full attention because a riveting game of candy crush took precedent. i'm embarrassed to put that out there, but it's the truth.
the second time she begged the question the weight of it fell heavy on my heart. i felt as if i had been slammed head first into a brick wall. through the dim glow i saw straight through to the bottom of the blue ocean of her eyes. an deep and wide abyss seeking for answers.
'am i ugly, mama?'
how's that for a bedtime conversation? from a two year old? how does a two year old even know what ugly is?
a mama's heart shatters into a million pieces under the weight of such a question. her mind races through all the years she asked the same. all the times the answer was exactly what she was feeling. all the places she searched for beauty only to find herself feeling less and less so.
ask me how i know.
so many responses bubbled up from the canyon of my heart. but words seemed heavy and thick.
how do i tell her she is the most beautiful person i have ever laid eyes on? how do i tell her that beauty is merely a reflection of the heart? how do i make her understand that beauty radiates out of her like the sun on a bright, summer day? how do i teach her that she is wonderfully made? how do i show her that a gentle, quiet spirit that loves the Lord is the most beautiful?
it seemed an eternity before my lips would part and words would spill out. words i pray poured deep into the recesses of her heart. words that are grounded in Truth. words that are the balm to a mama's splintered soul on days when she stares long into the mirror and asks the same.
'baby, you are the most beautiful person i have ever seen. do you understand that you are a masterpiece? handcrafted by God? and He happens to think you are gorgeous. don't you ever let anyone tell you different or make you feel less, deal?'
and just as quietly as she whispered the question that broke my heart, she drifted off to sleep. i gazed long and hard at this baby of mine and cried tears unexplainable. a mixture of happy and sad, broken and healed. but through the tears i felt His words blanket my soul, wrapping me up in the warmth of His love. words that filled the broken places and made me whole.
you are altogether beautiful, my love;
there is no flaw in you.
song of solomon 4:7