There was a beautiful girl in my high school. She wore nice clothes and name brand shoes, but people loved her despite her attire. Becky was kind, probably pretty smart and all the guys hung around her.
I wanted to be like her. Yet somehow, I didn't try to emulate her personality or wear the same type of clothes, but I did want my eyes to look like hers. She wore LOTS of mascara and her eyes looked big...stunning. I'd cake on layer after layer from the yellow tube of goop, over and over again just to look like Becky. Somehow I could never quite get the look she had.
A vacation often has me buying fresh makeup and while scouring the trial sizes of q-tips, deodorant and sunscreen, a fresh tube of black jelly stuff inevitably "falls" into the cart. After breaking open a brand new bottle this morning, the rules of mascara application sounded strange. Instructions to something I did every single day for years had changed: "..without letting the first coat dry to avoid clumping." What? No clumping?! I've always wanted clumping...what happened to 'Becky' style eyes? The memo to keep lashes clean swept without blobs of thick pulp missed my radar--probably a hundred times.
The attraction to be like someone else seems a high school problem. Representation of the authentic self comes from not what's on the eyes of a God fearing woman, but what is behind them. We've read this and we know this, but letting it sink in is the hard part. I Peter 3 tells us,
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,
such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes."
That is the list of Christian "don't's". The "do" comes right after, though. Verse 4 reads,
"Rather, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is worth in God's sight."
These verses have been read over and over and over, probably a million times or so, and yet, again, the reminder chimes like something new.
A gentle and quiet spirit does not look like clumpy mascara, it looks like a tenderness and stillness of soul. The smile backed by an inner peace that can't be explained. Such a spirit doesn't yell out what is right or wrong in this world or bludgeon someone who practices those "Christian don't's." The spirit of God encircles the heart of a gentle and quiet spirit...a mirror image of Christ.
Something should also be said about reading packages. For many years, lots of mascara could have been saved. Many stiff, pasty eyelashes could have been soft and easy to wipe off at night. But, moreso, mimicking a habit of someone else could have been broken for the foolishness it was had the Biblical instruction book been opened, read and digested.
Becoming a woman of beautiful integrity by having a gentle and quiet spirit, understanding others and emulating Christ is a conscious work. It takes observance of oneself, looking for places that may not be pretty and comparison of others should not transpire. The not so pretty places sometimes have scars...and sometimes scars cannot be hidden. And most of the time God uses scars as beauty marks.