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Actions speak louder than words which is probably why being Christ’s hands seems to work so well.

angelou

I used to have a hairdresser that was turning herself into a human beef jerky: she smoked like a chimney and tanned till her skin was like leather. Even with bad habits such as tanning and smoking, the thing that really made me feel for her was the need to slather on enormous amounts of make-up, including sparkly fake eyelashes – glued on, yet! 

When I think of the things we women do to beautify ourselves, I have to wonder if it’s all worth it.

How in the world did we begin this habit of festooning our eyes in particular? Was there a cavewoman in prehistoric times – let’s call her Marge – who picked up a piece of burnt charcoal and said, “Hey! Me draw marks around eyes! Look much pretty!”

I know for a fact that there wasn’t a tanning salon on Marge’s block. Surely no such thing as lip gloss!

Why do we go to such lengths with artificial means to achieve “natural beauty”? Is this what’s really important in life, anyway? If we’re putting our energy into hiding our blemishes and figure flaws, we might miss out on a whole constellation of blessings. Maybe it’s okay to show up, just as ourselves.

There’s a passage from scripture that speaks to me, no matter what subject is on my mind.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV

In this case, it’s telling me that I don’t have to wear myself out trying to be like everyone else. There’s no need to get nipped and tucked, botoxed and bejeweled. I can be who I am, secure in the knowledge that God accepts me, whatever may come.

Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

They don’t remember that your eyebrows weren’t tweezed. They remember how you brought them chicken soup when they were sick. Now that’s what I call a beautiful thing.

“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else’s path.

You are not on your own path.

If you follow someone else’s way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.”

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work

As I read an article entitled, Inmates at California Prison ask Guards to Keep Quiet,  I thought, they did the crime, they should do the time, but it may be that the guards were being loud all night on purpose so that the inmates could never get to sleep. What is the truth? A spokeswoman representing correctional officers declined to comment. (Um…isn’t that an oxymoron?) Both sides see the situation through their own lens and they tell the tale in their own way.

Sometimes we tell a story in our own idiom, and it might not compute for everyone. On the BBC show,  Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley, the host recounted a crime in which a Brooklyn gang systematically robbed $300,000 from New York City ATM machines on one day in 2013. Hammersley spoke of the moment they were captured, referring to it as a “kerfuffle in a carpark,” and I had to pause the show for a minute. I needed to break that down in my mind.

We’re talking Brooklyn, Ben. They’re called “parking lots” here in the states, and I seriously doubt locals would ever use the word “kerfuffle.”  I know I never have! What is that, anyway? It sounds like something fluffy that you wear, or perhaps dust with!

Somebody is going to tell your story one day, and it might not be the truth as you lived it. If someone made a map of your life, they still might not end up where you are.

Tell your own story now. Walk your own path. Write it down while it’s still true. Over time, details are forgotten and eventually, somebody else is going to presume to speak for you in your silence or absence. Why not be the one to tell the world who you are?

Let’s let the late, great writer, Maya Angelou have the last word on the subject. Speak for yourself and tell it like it is, she said, or you’ll live to regret it.

“I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.  There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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