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Beauty Queen
Photo: Peter Albrektsen
Jackie’s parents divorced when she was about nine years old. Her mother directed much of the ill feeling she felt for her ex-husband squarely at her youngest daughter. Jackie inherited her father’s exotic looks. Her older sister, Lee, strongly resembled her mother. Jackie had a broad square face, heavy features, wide-set eyes, a large frame, and dark Mediterranean coloring. Her mother constantly found fault with Jackie’s appearance, often comparing her unfavorably to her beautiful, well-mannered, sister.

In time, Jackie married the handsome PT 109 hero of World War II, a rising New York star and senator, John F. Kennedy. Within a few short years Jackie found herself the First Lady of the United States! A far cry from playing second fiddle to her beautiful sister!

In spite of the hurtful comments she had endured as a child, Jackie went on to be admired by American women everywhere, commanding the love and respect of thousands across America and abroad. Women admired Jackie for her looks, her poise, beauty, and intelligence. From clothing and sunglasses, to the famous Jackie hairstyle, ladies all over America tried to capture the Jackie look.

Leah, too, knew what it was like to be in Jackie’s shoes. Leah had a younger sister who was beautiful, friendly, outgoing, and witty. All the things she wasn’t. When any young gentlemen callers came around all eyes feasted on Rachel. Leah always felt as if she faded out of existence when Rachel walked into the room.

Then came Jacob. This handsome young man fell in love with the beautiful Rachel, but according to the Eastern custom of the day, the older daughter had to marry first, so the girls’ father, Laban, decided that Jacob would have to work seven years for his lovely bride; by the end of that time a match would surely be found for his older daughter. 

Plain Leah 

Plain Leah must have stood helplessly on the sidelines, wishing and hoping for someone to fall hopelessly in love with her, as Jacob had with Rachel, who was all things she wasn’t. Life didn’t seem fair. After all, she could cook, sew, weave; indeed, she knew she’d make a loving wife and mother. She loved children. Leah’s self esteem must have been in the basement of her heart. She knew she was no beauty.

Seven years passed. No one had even looked twice at Leah. So Laban came up with a devious plot forcing Jacob to marry Leah first. Imagine the hurt Leah felt when Jacob, upon realizing it was Leah next to him, not his beloved Rachel, began ranting and raving! Imagine the cutting, hurtful things spewing from of his mouth, all directed toward her—a pawn of her father. How hurt she must have been!

Jacob openly admitted that he loved Rachel more than Leah. Everyone knew it. How hard and sad it must have been for Leah to constantly live in the shadow of her beautiful, and most loved sister. But God knew her heartache. It says in Genesis 29:31(NIV), “When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.” The Lord saw that Leah was not loved. Isn’t that cool?

When you are feeling unloved, unwanted, when the world has gotten you down, when you live in the shadow of somebody else, always remember that God sees—God sees your pain. If He cared for Leah that much you can be assured that He cares for you!

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV).

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By Sharon Messer. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®
and the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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