It was March and Lent was in full swing. It was the sort of day that promises the spring that hasn't fully arrived, and we were prepping for a meeting.
It was a fairly important business meeting and the whole Annie Moses Band team had been working long hours getting the elements in hand.
As we headed for the door, I looked at my mother, and said, “Mama, you forgot your mascara.”
“I gave up mascara for Lent," she said.
Now, any woman reading this knows that when you put all your makeup on except your mascara it makes your eyes look like you are next-of-kin to Edward Scissorhands.
I was fairly stunned. “You gave up mascara for Lent!? Why?”
She responded like she was speaking about the weather.
“I realized that I feel almost like I have no value without my makeup, and mascara in particular. I live in fear of man too much. Besides, the Hebrew legend is that the fallen angels taught the Egyptians the art of eye-blackening. If I don’t have on mascara, I am forced to believe that people will respect me based upon my inner value. So, for Lent, I am humbling myself and squashing my vanity.”
“Well, that sounds really deep, but could you put on mascara for the meeting?”
It put me to thinking, how much is my value and identity wrapped up in makeup? Do I slather it on daily because I am afraid of how people see me? Or is it just that I enjoy looking "nice"?
I must admit that I love makeup. I don’t want it to be from the fallen angels. I need it to be part of my soul’s longing for the perfection humanity lost in the Garden of Eden.
But I am aware that my priorities have gotten out of hand a few times.
I told a friend in high school, “Some people buy new cars. I buy makeup.”
It was an attempt at humor.
But as a person who has spent untold of hours on stage, makeup has been a serious part of my life. A skill. A tool. It has given me power, because beauty is a currency that can be manipulated and monetized by the world.
In truth, beauty is an attribute of God, rooted in holiness. It connects us back to His own self. But for the World, the Flesh, and the Devil, beauty is a power we wield over each other.
It's easily seen in celebrity news: Why should we care about this or that super model or movie star? Because they are beautiful - so they are inherently worthy of our attention.
Soon after the meeting, I saw a news article that the porn star and wife of Rob Kardashian (of Kardashian family fame), Blac Chyna, had become a Christian and was baptized. I thought this was miraculous and wonderful and looked up her Instagram account to learn more.
In the video, she was going to have a satanic demon-goat tattoo removed from her low back. She was also removing all the fillers in her face and lips to restore her natural features. In the video she was makeup free and had her toddler sons around her.
I found it intriguing and profound that she knew intuitively that the tattoos, the fillers, the over-the-top makeup were connected to her previous service to the devil; that they were rooted in the thought that she had to be made into something other than herself, and that the people and the devil didn't want her as God made her to be. They wanted Blac Chyna, the porn queen, and BlacChyna needed fillers, tattoos and makeup.
Lots of it.
Indirectly, she insinuated that to be a Christian was to love and value your true self, as God made you, and prioritize God's opinion over man's. Her true self was beautiful and no longer a tool for the devil's manipulation. She had been Born Again, and she was going back to her baby self.
Sounds beautiful, doesn't it?
We don’t discuss makeup in the church. I understand why. The discussion quickly becomes a line up of legalisms, and, the Lord knows, I don’t want to head up the lipstick police.
But you have to wonder. If no one wore makeup, would pride month even exist? Is there a way in which man has become so good at telling a lie, that we don't even remember it is a lie. Like believing your own hype. Like worshiping an idol you made with your own hands.
God told Samuel two facts of life:
Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
My conclusion: your outward appearance will be judged by man, so tend to it, but remember, God will be judging you on more than your mascara at the Great White Throne.