I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be lovely. Hollywood surely isn’t. My home, at the moment, is anything but. How is my character? Lovely?
My mind travels to this lady, loving orphans in Uganda. And to this one and her countless years serving the poor. I most definitely remember Our Lady and her overwhelming receptivity and goodness as a mother. These women showed their loveliness through humility, pouring out their lives for others.
I think back to meeting the mother of a friend. She was kind, vivacious, modest and beautiful. I was instantly drawn to her loveliness. When she spoke, you could sense her inner peace and contentment–she was a woman of great faith and great devotion to our Lord. So lovely.
In the last chapter of Proverbs, Solomon describes loveliness:
“She does her work with eager hands… She puts her back into her work and shows how strong her arms can be… she opens her arms to the needy… She is clothed in strength and dignity… she can laugh at the day to come… on her tongue is kindly instruction… her children stand up and proclaim her blessed.”
What a gorgeous picture he offers to the modern woman. We are not called to be idle and passive, but to rise up and manage what we’ve been given. We are called to be uniquely woman–bearing good things, using our resources to produce, helping to lead our homes and families toward greater goodness. The call to loveliness re-feminizes our womanly role in the world. We are not asking to be equal. We are carving out a unique, lovely path all our own.
I read through Proverbs 31 and feel inspired to get off my duff and clean my not-so-lovely house; fold my umpteenth load of laundry for the day; help my children learn through patience and fortitude. I am called to serve others and my community; challenge my brain and use it to help solve problems; and at the end of the day, bring glory to His Name.
What an honor to have such a calling. And though I will fail time and time again while reaching for it, I will seek and pursue this kind of loveliness ’til the end of my days. Hopefully like Mother Teresa, even my last breath will be a lovely one.