(I apologize in advance for the metaphor here, but it doesn’t get graphic… )
A long time back I saw a tv show about hymen reconstruction surgery. It struck me as really interesting. This is exactly as it sounds… plastic surgery to reconnect the segments of the hymen to give the appearance of virginity, and the associated bleeding on wedding night still vitally important to many cultures.
So I googled it. And after I finally got past the porn sites to some real information, it struck me as even more interesting.
The procedure runs about $5,000… but on a message board discussion I was surprised to see not rape victims as I would have assumed, but mostly women with regrets.
I can understand the symbolic nature of that. But what surprised me more is how many said they used it primarily to inspire them to refrain from further sexual activity until marriage, by memory of the pain and cost involved.
So, this replica virginity has such value to them…. even where their real virginity didn’t. And their current wellbeing didn’t, even after the lessons they had apparently learned to be interested in it in the first place. It gave it a concrete worth… which somehow made it more valuable than things anyone would agree to be of much more worth.
Its odd. And yet, it makes sense. Just as the child given an expensive car with no effort has less value placed on it than a child who worked hard to buy their cheap car… the tangibility of the cost vs the less tangible elevate the percieved value.
So it strikes me that maybe this is why I feel so much better about my salvation when I feel like I am earning it by good deeds. How can I really grasp the value of something so very far beyond impossible for me to pay for?
But if it costs me time, and effort, and curbing desires, and being obedient, and all of the other tangible lifestyle changes that come along with it…. then it has a worth. A cost, a price. And somehow becomes more valuable as it becomes more tangible.
And yet…. just as with the surgery, all I am buying for my worth is a fake. The money doesn’t buy back their virginity, just their hymen, and all of my best attempts at being good doesn’t buy me salvation, it just buys me religion. It has all the appearances, and yet, is pretty much pointless without the real thing behind it. Just cosmetic appearances.
And yet… its so much easier to grasp… so much easier to understand… so much more tangible. I can understand the price of religion, and give it an according value.
How do I really grasp the true value of something so priceless its beyond anything I could ever earn for myself no matter how hard I tried?