A woman about my age sits at the table next to me at Starbucks. I notice her prefect hair – styled, straightened, gently falling down her back. Her flawless makeup, just the right hues, accentuates her beauty. Her cute outfit is straight off the Banana Republic mannequin.
A longing stirs in me to be THAT. That outwardly beautiful. Put together. Cute.
I begin to count my short comings.
I can’t style hair to save my life. It’s in a pony tail or it is down. That’s it. And when it’s down, no amount of straightening, blow drying, or hair spraying can conquer the humidity that is set on poofing my already thick hair or the wave in the back of my hair that insists on making itself known.
Makeup. Hmmph. I own one tube of lipstick and can somewhat apply mascara. I’ve never figured out my skin tone, where to find that flawless foundation the rest of the world seems to instinctively know about, and if I ever tried to apply eye liner, I’d surely injure myself.
Clothing. I have a pair of jeans I like. I am trying to wear more dresses on Sundays so these daughters I am responsible for teaching how to be women will be comfortable from the start wearing dresses on occasion. My accessories include sunglasses and not one, not two, but three purses to choose from. Which I rarely remember to switch out. So let’s just call it one.
As I sit in my almost-clean jeans and my Memphis Tigers’ hoodie, these thoughts flash through my mind within 20 seconds of seeing this other woman. It doesn’t take me long to run through this all too familiar list of things I dislike about my outward appearance.
I assume she is waiting for someone. People that put together always have a purpose. She keeps looking around. I’ll bet she is about to have a business meeting here. She pulls out a cute (of course) accordian folder. Not just a black one. One striped in pastel colors.
She reaches into her bag with her french-manicured hand. She pulls out a book. Her darling (and I am not being sarcastic at all – they are seriously cute) magenta flats catch my eye. Such a bold color to mix with a shimmering silver sweater. I’m sure that’s very in – the bold, random colors.
I can’t see her necklace as clearly as I would like. She sits with her back angled toward me. But I can see between wisps of her hair that the necklace is layered turquoise and orange beads. Turquoise – that must be a very popular color this season.
I sit up a little straighter to catch the title of the book she’s reading.
The irony is not lost on me.
I’ve not read this book, but it’s a book for Christians who struggle with finding their identity in something other than Jesus. (That’s pretty much all of us, no?) The particular struggle of the author is with food, but I hear the book can help all of us, no matter what we happen to look to for our self worth.
I instantly think to myself, “She’s got it all together on the outside, but she’s just like me on the inside. Insecure.”
We’re all the same.
Lord Jesus, we crave You. I won’t find my value in cute clothes and make up and hair. Or, if I do, it will only be temporary. I don’t know what this other woman struggles with. Chances are she doesn’t think she’s beautiful either. But regardless of what she’s looking to for value, she’s obviously not finding it. That’s why she’s picked up that book.
Praise God she realizes she needs to find her fulfillment in HIM! I need to find my fulfillment in Him. And, shocker, so do you.
May we feel and know how much He loves us today.
LOVE this! well done.
Kelly, great post and so dear to our hearts. Maybe….. I will elaborate using myself and add this one of yours as the beginning…who knows who might catch up and do the next one! Fun?
Absolutely, Naphtali! This subject is endless.
ok great. I am getting started.
You hit the nail on the head. I’m totally feel the same way sometimes. Thanks for the heads up to remember Whose we are and none of that suface stuff matters a bit.
P.S. You write beautifully. 🙂
Wow, killer post!
Isn’t this the truth!
Believing that people are the same inside as we are may be one of the most important keys to relationship I know of. It changes everything. It frees me and you. It opens up endless possibilities. Thanks for making that so evident.
So, you wish you could have perfect hair and make up, too, Randall?! We ARE the same!
It is so freeing, though, when I am tempted to think people should look down on me for things. Chances are they hold me much higher than I do. And if they DO look down on me, it proves their own depravity. We’re all the same 🙂