Day 14–with whom do I want to identify?

14 days without any non hygienic beauty products…giving it up for Jesus during Lent.  🙂

I just returned from a great vacation with my family.  We spent a day in Knotts Berry Farm riding all the throw up rides I could possibly imagine.  I rode some of them solo because apparently I’m the only one in the family who really loves thrill rides.  Next we boarded a Carnival Cruise Ship for 3 days with 20 people from St. Paul’s.  I truly don’t think it’s possible for me to sit in front of a plate of food…or an entire buffet for that matter…and not eat my heart out.  It was a deliciously wonderful vacation, but not without its reflections on my Lenten practice.

This reflection began for me while running in Long Beach on Friday morning.  Our hotel was not in the best part of town and as I ran I noticed hundreds of other people around me running, too.  No, not for exercise.  Running to catch the bus.  Running to get their children to school on time.  Running from what, towards what, I don’t exactly know.  But not running for pleasure.  They were running for necessity.  Since I’m relatively obsessed about the world’s use of makeup I noticed that the women I saw running to catch their bus on time weren’t wearing a  whole lot of makeup.

After boarding the ship I found it a bit awkward having to explain to my 10 year old the concept of public drunkenness.  Honestly, I do not fault or judge the people on this ship who came to have a great weekend celebration with each other. The cruise line’s target market is not my 10 year old daughter. I probably don’t need to tell you that the groups of women who were partying together this weekend wore makeup…a lot of it.  Not too much…just a lot.

If I had to choose with whom I hope to identify myself, I desperately want to identify with those who have not, than those who have.  If I had to pick a group of friends for the weekend, I’d rather be in community with those who have less than those who have more.  The funny thing is, I am one of those people who have more.  And perhaps if I hadn’t been going through this Lenten discipline the people on the streets of Long Beach might have been invisible to me.  But since I was looking for make up on the face of almost every woman I encountered this weekend, I saw their faces.  I saw the lines of worry, of pain, and of despair.  I saw the mommas holding the hands of their elementary students in uniform, hoping for something better for them.  I saw the smiles that they dubiously offered me when I smiled at them first.  If a little bit of lip gloss can help them feel a bit better about their day I say we should pass out lipstick to the entire world.  But if a makeup less smile and a genuine desire to let them know that someone cares about their plight can do the same thing, it’s my hope that we can all join together in spreading good will and kindness through the comforting look on our face….covered in makeup or not.

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