In an old movie, a child asks a man why he looks so different from everyone else, and the man replies, "Because Allah loves wondrous variety."
Bodies come in a beautiful variety of forms, and it feels awful to be ashamed of any of them.
Some women (myself among them) remember being instructed not to be a stumbling block to their brothers in Christ. If this is foreign to you, I can translate: having a discernible feminine form will get in the way of men's relationships with God. If teenage boys looked at you and thought of sex, you were responsible for coming between them and God. I'm sure that sounds laugh-out-loud funny to some of you, but to those of us who were raised that way, it's the root of real shame.
I see a lot of people dismissing other's pain, especially when it comes to body issues. I don't see your body the way you do, and so I assume that your feelings are misplaced, unnecessary. You feel old, but I see glamour, and so I don't bother to listen about what it means to you to feel old. Someone's body feels uncomfortable to them, and that makes us uncomfortable, so we change the subject, instead of being a safe place for them to be honest.
This week, I'm praying for bodies: that we respect our own and appreciate them, and treat those belonging to others with kindness.
The Feast of the Annunciation
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