I had a great day today. Not only did someone actually clean my face and put make-up on it for free, but someone made a blog comment. It's the little things.
Today at MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers, we got to talk about outer beauty and inner beauty. Yes, people got to learn make-up tips, hair tips, skin care, and nail care, but we talked about inner beauty too. The speaker was the minister's wife (my MOPS group meets at a local Baptist church). She quoted several passages in the Bible about beauty but she also brought up the story about Ester. You know, the one about the Jewish lady who becomes Queen and saves her people. Yeah, that one. But she didn't talk about Ester's bravery or her beauty, but about the fact that she won the King over with her personality. She also talked about her devotion to God. She was making the point that our faith and devotion to God and spending time with God is a part of our "winning personality" or inner beauty.
Which gets me to thinking about our outer beauty as well. So if our inner beauty is made up of following Jesus, then shouldn't our outer beauty be a reflection of that as well? And how does one choose to show our devotion on the outside?
Some people are more covert about their outer signs of devotion. Mormons have their underwear. Catholics have scapulars. For some people it's more obvious: crosses around the neck, head coverings, tattoos, ect.
I suppose the next question to ask is how do I show my own devotion? Am I covert or obvious and why? What is the true motivation behind showing my faith? Is it to stand up for Jesus or to be selfishly noticed?
I wear a crucifix around my neck (it's the one that is posted in the blog). Nobody ever really notices it because it's small and usually ends up under my shirt. I've worn it on and off for a while (I've had to change chains because my skin is so darn sensitive). No one makes comments and no one notices. And I don't expect them to because it is my covert devotion. My little reminder of who I am and the choices that I make (or need to anyway).
But I don't think that I've been obvious about my devotion. I'm usually modestly dressed, but now I catch myself reevaluating why I'm wearing certain things. What's the motivation behind that tank top? Is it because it's normal to wear when it's hot? Or should I put a shirt over it and cover more skin? Why do I wear jeans? Is it because it is cold or is it because that's what everyone wears now? Should I wear a dress? Should I cover my head? How far away from the norm should I go to show my devotion without being selfishly obvious?
And that is where my great experiment has begun. I have decided to slowly weed out my pants (not that I like pants anyway but that's another blog) and slowly add covering my head. Giving up pants won't be hard, but covering my head will be interesting. I recently went over to a friend's house who asked me if I had gone on vacation to Amish country. What I was wearing was snood. It was lacy. Amish women wear plain white cotton caps. Ignorance. Today I wore a scarf tied in a Turkish fashion. Only one person asked why. I told her as I've told others that it's an experiment to see people's reactions. Which it is, I'm just also deciding if this the direction that I want to go. I don't like standing out because I think that achieves the opposite reason for showing devotion, but also it is good to create dialogue about faith. I'm torn and I'm also slightly vain. As I said this is the great experiment.
Oh, and MOPS is international and interdenominational. For more information about joining a MOPS group near you: http://www.mops.org