I didn't grow up really hearing about or celebrating the Lenten season, and it wasn't until I got to PLU for undergrad that I began to see people participating and beginning to take it seriously. So, not really knowing what I was doing, but seeing that I was "supposed" to give up something, I partook and gave up what every sophomore in a 9-floor building didn't want to live without: Elevators. And truth be told, that was the most memorable year of Lent...and in the years following, I've sometimes given things up and sometimes not, but as I climbed those stairs every day - as silly as it sounds! - I began to understand that it wasn't just about "giving" something up, but perhaps something more.
So here we find ourselves two days beyond Ash Wednesday, and it snuck up on me , as I thought I had at least a couple more weeks to find that perfect thing to fast from. I'd narrowed it down: alcohol, coffee or make-up. But with alcohol, I'm restricted in my intake anyway right now, so it's not something I'm necessarily struggling with. Coffee, as we all know, would be a good thing for Cara to give up, but really, I also just have one cup a day (or else I start scaring the kiddies), so that didn't seem like "the" thing. And then I remember this girl in college, Sarah, who gave up make-up for Lent. Make-up?! Why would someone give up make-up? Weird! But I remember seeing her one day, and thinking, man! She really needs some mascara :: but shame on me! Even in KNOWING that she'd given it up, I couldn't walk past her without judging her outward appearance.
So make-up it is....and though I don't wear it every day, I still have this world-fed belief that my beauty is dependent upon the mascara I coat my eyes with, the liner that makes them "pop", cover-up that diminishes the uneven "ruddy" surface, and I have a hard time believing that my beauty has nothing to do with the make-up I make...up my face with. I debated it. But what about my birthday? What about this big meeting?
But as I'm beginning to see, most of it's just in my mind...
Most people don't even notice.
So I'm learning. And I'm giving Jesus my need for outer beauty and approval this Lenten season.