Friday, April 1, 2016

Good Face or Best Face

As a deacon's daughter and minister's wife, I know how to put on a good face.

Sometimes, I refer to my morning make-up routine as "putting on my face." Cleanser, moisturizer, and anti-acne medication (Even though I am nearly 40!) sets the base coat for my next four layers including color, blush, bronzer and finishing powder. I layer on my eyelids at least three tones before sweeping on my liquid liner and brushing on a coat or two of my mascara.

I've tried to explain to my almost teenager, that the secret of good makeup is to look like you don't have any on. With all I do and dab and brush and blend, it is all done in an effort to look "natural" and not in the least made up, that is simply "good face".

I've been a Christian for along time. In childhood I grew up thinking that one day I will have it all together. In the meantime though, in an effort to put on a good front to others, to do what I thought was expected of me, and because I genuinely wanted others to believe that I had it all together, I honestly found myself layering on a different kind of makeup.

I learned early on to put on a "good face".

Easter Sunday the pews are filled with lots of "good" faces. This is the one Sunday of the year that many of these faces make their appearance. Pretty dresses, new neckties, and the occasional corsage adorn the congregation. Apathetic expectations, guilty consciences, and indifferent attitudes masked in all the finery. Everyone has on some kind of makeup it would seem.

And, as a minister's wife, the pressure is on for us to put on a false front as well. Holy Week is a busy week. We want to support our man and not let anyone down- especially the sweet parents of the prodigals that have come "home" to go to church with Mom and Dad.

It is hard to strip it away and expose our vulnerabilities. What will "they" say? Will they understand? How will this effect my husband? His job? Our livelihood?

I know it is easy for me to SAY to be transparent and to try to be yourself. It is even easier for me to point out that our made up faces are a turnoff to others and a clear sign of our lack of faith. It's as if we don't believe God can use us the way He made us and that somehow He needs us to make Him look good. (Like we ever could add anything to His majesty?!)

My point is this, just as I grew in Christ and realized that having it all together is a journey only completed at my glorification., taking off our makeup and being "real" with those around us is a process as well.

Daily habits of taking off the makeup need to be formed. It is most definitely a process we have to learn.

Confession cleanses our souls. We find forgiveness and, through faith, restoration as well.

My nighttime routine can sometimes be just a laborious as the morning one. Cleanser, eye makeup remover, ointment and moisturizer - take off and treat and restore all that my makeup, sweat, and the elements have done to abuse the skin underneath.

Embracing the version of ourselves that we find underneath all our "good" deeds and "happy" attitudes is not easy. But, that is the side of us God sees and loves and sent His Son to die for . . . If He doesn't need us to wear the makeup to save us, He sure doesn't need us to wear it to use us.

Let's change our definition of "good face" and put our best face, our real face forward.

Let's be the individuals that God created us, and gifted us to be where He has intentionally placed us.

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