To the Girl with the Make-Up Face,
Okay. Even though my alarm will come bright and early and there’s editing to do tonight, my mind is stuck on you. Quite honestly, I can’t get you out of my head. You with black-lined eyes, pink cheeks, and glossy red lips. I know what you’re thinking in the brain behind the beauty.
It’s confusing sometimes, I know. Complicated for sure.
The possibilities are endless, aren’t they? To keep up is run the treadmill of self-sequestering – always trying but never arriving. It’s a battle of unrealistic proportions, but to be female is to fight and to cover your wounds with another layer of foundation.
You stand just feet from me, but really you’re miles away. Your smile seems welcoming but I know you – you won’t let me in, you won’t let me see your heart. I mean, you won’t even let me see your face.
And here’s the thing I’m stuck on tonight: we don’t believe that.
We, Jesus followers, don’t believe that lips should be red and the ones that aren’t have nothing to say. We don’t believe that women with age on their faces should be ashamed. We don’t believe in championing size zero jeans. We don’t believe in devaluing the girl in her glasses, the one with the scars, or the laugh lines who show on the elderly face. We who know Jesus don’t believe in hiding and covering and pretending and distance.
So, what are we doing? What is all this obsessive talk about loosing weight and Sephora and the newest technology in hair removal? What are we doing with our money, our time, our thoughts? Why are we so preoccupied with covering ourselves?
Dare I say it’s because there’s something else we don’t believe?
We don’t believe He’s done it.
I want to suggest tonight that the reason we are fixated on covering ourselves is because we fail to believe that He has done the covering work for us. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, came to earth, took on this flesh, walked this turf, died our death, and rose to life so that He could cover all our ugliness. Somewhere along the line, we stopped looking to Him and started looking in the mirror. We forgot what is really ugly (sin) and, therefore, have forgotten what is really beautiful (Christ). We’re no longer trying to be like Him, but more like ourselves, perpetuating the same kind of façade over and over in hopes that some day we’ll be acceptable because we no longer believe He has made us so.
This letter isn’t mean to be a rant, I promise. It’s just that I want you to know that you don’t have to do all that all the time. The hair and the face and the body and the clothes, I mean. You don’t have to spin your wheels and wear yourself out in pursuit of the mirage of self-production. I guess this letter is just to tell you that it’s okay. You’re okay.
At the end of it all, I feel as if I have nothing to say. Because I am you. And this letter best fits in my own mailbox. Perhaps that is the point of all the questions and maybe it’s best to fold this letter in three and tuck it away to find it in three years’ time. Maybe then I’ll need to remember. Maybe then I’ll need to preach the covering gospel to myself again. Maybe then, if I’ve forgotten, I’ll believe the words pushed from my own pen.
Or, maybe, I’ll quietly set it beside the bathroom mirror.
And tomorrow morning,
when I am sure to have already forgotten,
I’ll choose to believe