Long ago in the village of Kiniwata Island in the South Pacific, there is a true story about a man who found a woman's heart such a rare gift he offered above and beyond the dowry just to have her. This offer was so extravagant it was retold from generation to generation.
And so the magic of this true story begins
In this village lived a homely girl who had nothing beholding. She had no beauty, or special gift. There was no worth in her at all for her ever hope in marrying. Yet, her heart unseen to the rest, was the most beautiful heart in al the land.
It was tradition that when a man found a man to marry, he would present her father the dowry price of his bride to be. In this village the exchange was one cow for his daughter.
In rare occasions, if the daughter was exceptionally extraordinary her husband -to-be would up the ante presenting her father with two cows, doubling the dowry, to thwart off any other would be pursuers. And so, the custom went on for years and years, until...
One day there was a passerby who was traveling without water for many days. As the girl saw him she was filled with compassion, and taking the pots off her head laid them at his feet.
“Here,” she said to him.”Please take this it’s yours.”
“But what of you?” the traveler questioned. “What will you do?”
“What matters is that you need it more than I. Please, I will be fine.” With that she smiled and walked away.
Never before in all his travels did the man experience such sacrificial generosity. Why would she give to a stranger? How could a young girl have such a heart? Who is she?
Months went by and the man returned, yet, this time with a caravan of servants and cows.
He was strikingly handsome. Rumor was that he was in search of a girl to make her his bride. All the young maidens flocked out in the village square in their finest in hopes of being chosen. But he interested in none.
Exasperated the man could not find her, and then the thought came to him.
“I will return to the watering hole, perhaps she will be there.”
Hours had passed by, and then far off in the distance, he saw her, the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
As she came close his heart skipped a beat.
“ I am the stranger whom you helped from the past. Please, can you take me to your father.”
“Yes, of course,” she said, now noticing for the first time his piercing blue eyes.
Approaching her father he brought 10 cows with him.
“I have fallen in love with your daughter, yet I know she is also your greatest treasure. I want to marry her. She is the rarest in all the land, and worth far more than what is required. If I give you 10 cows will you grant me my request?”
Not only was his request granted, but the father granted a two year honeymoon rather than the customary year.
Upon returning to the village, the young homely bride had completely transformed. The worth put on her by her husband had brought out a beauty in her that made her unrecognizable. She radiated. By far, she had become the most beautiful of all. The word spread of “the 10 cow girl” and how her value was so much more than that!
So the story went.
A value put on the beloved unveils the beauty inside. In the same way God’s love transforms us, peeling off the layers of being unseen, invisible, until one day we radiate, and we too become unrecognizable as our beauty inside in revealed on the outside.