Since the Republican National Convention, I can’t get one little snapshot out of my mind and I want to explore it a little. I still don’t know quite what to make of it, but it speaks volumes of our culture, our nature as women, and how we support and encourage women differently than men. Before you think I’m about to launch a sexism rampage, I assure you I won’t. It just strikes me as incongruent yet perfectly appropriate.
Chuck and Ruth Heath were at the Republican National Convention in proud support of their daughter as the Republican VP candidate. As the striking Sarah Palin was introduced and took the speaker’s podium, the crowd roared. The camera panned back to Chuck and Ruth just in time to catch Sarah’s mother say to her husband, “She looks beautiful.” It was her way of saying, “I am so proud of my daughter in this surreal moment.” She is a stunning woman, but beautiful in this case was much more. Beautiful encapsulated the sheer awe and joy and pride many felt as they witnessed the historic moment. Just for a second, I saw an incongruence of what a compliment for a woman and what a compliment for a man looks like. If Senator Obama’s parents or his grandmother were captured in the same moment, I wonder what they would have said to each other. “That’s my son!” Or maybe “I’m so proud of him.” I don’t know. What is the difference between a compliment for a Christian versus a non-Christian? Do they or should they look different? Today, I had the highest compliment I think I could receive when a friend said that I had the presence of the Holy Spirit clearly with me. I know when I do and when I don’t, and today, I didn’t feel Him much, but it reminded me that He was ever before me waiting to place His mantel of love upon me, and it made me smile in my acknowledgment to receive Him again. What do you consider the highest compliment? I know we are not to draw our praise from men, but we do need to encourage one another in sincerity and in love.
What causes you to smile when someone says an encouraging word? What do you need to hear today from your loving God? My prayer is that He will show Himself mighty to fill your every need.