Seven Cows, a Dozen Chickens and Ten Sacks of Grain

(This is my re-telling of the traditional story. Such a beautiful, spiritual message here.)

In many parts of the world a man seeking a wife, must be willing to pay his future father-in-law for his bride. (Isn’t it odd that in other parts of the world, a woman must come to her husband with a dowry?) In one such village a poor young girl was overlooked by every suitor. In spite of her father’s efforts no one was willing to offer a bride price for this girl, for she was not beautiful to look upon and her ability to be productive in work was limited by a crippled right hand. Furthermore, she was a very sorrowful woman having lost her mother at a young age, and been tormented by her father’s mother all her life for her limited labors. As this young woman grew older she became even less desirable. At last her heart despaired of ever being married. No one would ever want her. She was ugly. She was crippled. She was emotionally down trodden. She was useless.

One day a new family moved into the village. This family had a son who was of some standing; for he was the only son and would inherit is father’s merchant business which was rather prosperous. This family soon became known as the most affluent family in the village. The son was well respected as a hard worker and an honest business man. He was also handsome and many fathers of young girls approached this new family to offer arrangements for marriage. The father of the ugly, crippled girl did not approach the man for he knew his daughter was getting old, in addition to being undesirable.

So it surprised him very much when the occasion came that the father of this affluent family should visit him. And it surprised him even more to discover the reason for this auspicious visit.

“My son would like to ask for your daughter’s hand. We are willing to pay seven cows, a dozen chickens, and ten bags of grain for her agreement to marriage,” The man said.

“My daughter? Are you quite certain?” The father stuttered in shock for he would have been delighted at the offer of even one cow. Then he called for his daughter who entered the small room quietly with her head covered and her eyes on the floor.

“Look at the man!” he ordered, and though this was an uncustomary demand, the woman complied for she was in complete submission to her father.

“Yes. It is your daughter my son wants.” The man confirmed upon looking at her. “She is the one. Is our offer enough? Will you be content to accept?”

The father dismissed his daughter and the necessary arrangements were made between the two men to finalize the agreement. The daughter was soon informed of this marvelous turn of luck. No one could have imagined the change it wrought within that poor woman.

Her countenance changed to such a degree, that none could remember how she had come upon the reputation of being ugly. Her demeanor, though still docile and submissive, was no longer sorrowful. Her eyes sparkled. Even her work improved immensely and she discovered new abilities and talents never before aspired to. In fact she was delighted to become her own tailer, fashioning a wedding dress of unique design and stlye.

The wedding was as grand as any the village had ever seen. The handsome groom doted on his new bride, and boasted of her to everyone!  The girl nobody wanted became the coveted bride, for the groom saw this girl and ascribed value to her, at a rank never before imagined by anyone in the village.  One man saw worth where no one else did, and it changed everyone’s opinion.

I can relate to the bride in this story. You see, my worth has been measured, not by cows from a would-be groom, but by the blood of Jesus from God my creator.

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