From Ann Voskamp:
“There will always be people who see everything in the world as a measuring stick of their worthiness, instead of as a burning bush of God’s gloriousness.
If your life looks like a mess – to them — they whip out a measuring stick and feel confident of their own worthiness.
If your life looks like a monument – to them — they whip out a measuring stick – and start cutting for their own empowerment.”
She leans over and I want to gather her close. I rub her back in these slow circles.
“The thing is, Hon?,” I knead out a tight knot in her shoulder, loosening the muscles.
“The world isn’t a forest of measuring sticks. The world is forest of burning bushes. Everything isn’t a marker to make you feel behind or ahead; everything is a flame to make you see GOD is here.
That God is working through this person’s life, that God is redeeming that person’s life, that God is igniting this work, that God is present here in this mess, that God is using even this.”
Hope lays her head on my shoulder.“Know what, Hon?”
“Walk through life with a measuring stick – and your eyes get so small you never see God.”
She nods. And then whispers: “Why does anybody compare at all? Why do we do it – why do I do it?”
She exhales this sigh like she’s trying to relieves the swelling in her soul.
“Oh girl — ” I want to make this all go away for her. “Remember when you guys were little? And I’d have a couple measuring sticks out when I was piecing together a quilt? What would you guys would do with the measuring sticks?
She says it slow, laying back on the bed. — “Use them as swords?”
Exactly. Measuring sticks always become weapons.
I want to tell her, and every woman browsing through a fashion magazine, standing on a scale, scrolling through Pinterest, clicking through blogs, looking in a mirror: Every yardstick always becomes a billystick….
I whisper it to her like a heart’s battle cry, like it could rally a generation of daughters and women and sisters:
Girls rival each other. Women revive each other.
Girls empale each other. Women empower each other.
Girls compare each other. Women champion each other.