I just recently heard the story of Johnny Lingo and his 8-cow wife. It was written in 1965 for Women’s Day magazine by Patricia McGerr. You’ve probably heard it, but indulge me for a moment.
Johnny Lingo wanted to marry Sarita, she was the love of his life. In the village where Johnny met Sarita, 2 or 3 cows paid to the maiden’s father would buy a decent wife, and 4 or 5 would buy a very good one. But Johnny Lingo offered and paid Sarita’s father 8 cows for her.
Everyone in the village made fun of Johnny, because Sarita was no beauty. “It would have been kind to call her plain. She was skinny, she walked with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. She was scared of her own shadow.” The people mocked and said that Sarita’s father had swindled Johnny. He would have even taken only 1 cow for her, because he was afraid he'd be stuck with her forever.
Johnny took his bride home, to another village. The narrator went to meet Johnny for the first time, and while there he saw a woman. This couldn’t be Sarita, he thought. “She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. The lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin, the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right.” The narrator describes her as “glorious”.
Of course it was Sarita, and Johnny explained, “Do you ever think," he asked, "what it must mean to a woman to know that her husband has settled on the lowest price for which she can be bought? And then later, when the women talk, they boast of what their husbands paid for them. One says four cows, another maybe six. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one or two? This could not happen to my Sarita."
I love this story, because it shows that beauty comes from within. When Sarita thought she was worth 1 cow, she was plain. When she thought she was worth 8, she was a gloriously beautiful girl. The encouragement came from her husband, yes, and maybe you don’t have a husband who would pay 8 cows for you. If that is so, that is his mistake, because you are worth it. Either way, there is Someone who paid much more than 8 cows for you. He paid it all, everything He had, and He had everything. He thinks you are worth it, so act like it! Don’t walk around in fear and self-loathing. Hold your head up, Beautiful Girl! You are GLORIOUS!
Photo Credit: FA-Tography by Faith and Aubrianah
Read the whole story here: http://www.talkjesus.com/lounge/31412-eight-cow-wife.html (I do not endorse the site, I don’t know anything about it, it’s just one place where you can read the story of Johnny Lingo and his 8-cow wife.)