At a women’s conference that our church hosted just over a year ago, the phrase “Gate Beautiful” kept coming to me. I had often dreamt long ago of a ranch or a farm of the same name where we would rescue animals and orphans all at the same time, so I was no stranger to the phrase as I had long ago fallen in love with it.
But at the conference, I was struck with the urge to delve deeper into the meaning. So I looked it up, right there at the conference with my smartphone, and I shared it with my pastor who asked me to share it with all the women present.
Those funny little letters in the picture are the Koine Greek word (roughly pronounced “hor-a-i-os”) used to mean “beautiful“. The word actually comes from the word “hour”, and is often translated as “timely” though sometimes translated as “ripe“, “happening or coming at the right time“, or more modernly “beautiful, fair, lovely”.
Now, some traditions hold that the Beautiful Gate, as referenced in Acts 3, was the temple gate that led into the Court of Women. Contrary to what its name might convey, this court was not for women exclusively, but it was the furthest that women were allowed to enter into the temple, except for sacrificial purposes. Men and women would gather together in this court to worship. There is also mention that this court held thirteen chests to receive offerings and charitable contributions.
It took me awhile to remember – it actually took two prompts in one week from Lisa-Jo (The Gypsy Mama) before it came to mind – but I was given an image of what being beautiful means that weekend.
I saw a vineyard, with grapevines heavy and sagging with fruit. Not just any fruit, but ripe fruit ready for picking. I saw that the hour had come for the harvest of this fruit.
Today, looking back at this image, I feel like it is confirmation that time has come for women to arise and reclaim “Beautiful“.
Being beautiful means to be satisfied, confident in your skin, at your age in your time, to be confident of who you are and Whose you are.
By Bekka, at Moonlight & Sunbeams
colleen laquay urbaniuk @ thegiftofmondays.com says
“Being beautiful means to be satisfied, confident in your skin, at your age in your time, to be confident of who you are and Whose you are.” oh how i long for these words to be true for everyone…to know that beauty is not in outward appearance but in inward peace.
It does seem like a simple truth, sometimes, doesn’t it? Thanks for reading today 🙂
Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says
Bekka, I love this post for so many reasons. First of all, it’s no coincidence that it’s coming one day after my post about feeling ugly and remembering that God sees me as beautiful (even with a horrible rash on my face!). Second of all, I love what you said about being satisfied “at your age in your time.” One of the women who commented on my post yesterday mentioned finally feeling comfortable in her skin now that she’s in her 40s and I wondered why we can’t get to that place sooner. Thank you for further encouragement down that path!
Hi Mary! Thank you for *your* encouragement. I must say I struggled to keep it so concise as I felt there was so much more to say but I wasn’t supposed to add to this.
I too wish that more women (myself included) could get comfortable sooner!
“content in your own skin” that is something that is slowly dawning on my heart. I just finished a mini-series and the first two parts were about our inner person’s beauty and the reflection of that grace on the outside … God is so faithful to keep at us with these gentle reminders!
Hi Morgan! Thanks for reading this morning!
You’re right about God’s faithfulness and gentle reminders 🙂
Reclaiming Beauty – at (in)courage | Moonlight & Sunbeams says
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There is something so beautiful about people who really are confident and content in their own skin. Yet, it’s somehow easier to admire it in others than practice it for ourselves, isn’t it? Good food for thought here.
I also find it easier to admire that confidence in others and fail to see it in myself most of the time. Thank you. 🙂
Betty Draper says
Great post Bekka.. I have been pretty comfortable in my 60 some skin, even stop coloring my hair and now love it natural. But like all times just when one feels comfortable here comes a trail to really test that.
We have moved back to beautiful America after 30 years of living in a third world country. Over whelming is the only word that describes it. Seems my confidence has drop to an all time low place…being older in Papua New Guinea where we lived is quite different. Age is highly respected….a thing of beauty…..I sure don’t feel beautiful here. Your post brought me face to face once again in whom I was looking to for this confidence and beauty. Thanks for the post, I need it badly.
Being beautiful means to be satisfied, confident in your skin, at your age in your time, to be confident of who you are and Whose you are.”
Comfortableness in our skin does seem to take time to adjust to (and then, at my life-stage, we start having babies and then have to re-adjust all over again! different trials for different life-stages). Thank you for sharing part of your own story here.
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