Sunday, 11 September 2011

Inner Beauty

Jenny came to speak to our group on Thursday night – she’s a Virgin Vie Rep. She had told Ann, our secretary that she’d make somebody up with the cosmetics. So guess who Ann decided would be the model? Gwen said “Oh I wish I’d brought my camera” – and so I fished mine out of my bag [a true blogger, I carry it everywhere these days]  Jenny began by clipping my fringe back with her pink flower grip. I had taken off my glasses, so everything was unfocussed. The audience were greatly amused – and checked out all the products in the catalogues.


It’s very relaxing having your face massaged like this…


and here are the before and after shots.[thanks Gwen]



My other role [apart from modelling the make-up] was to lead the opening devotions. Devotions are supposed to be related to the topic for the evening. So here are my notes…

I looked up instances of cosmetics mentioned in the Bible – I knew some of the verses, but discovered quite a few others. Lots of them, admittedly, refer to rather dubious ladies, “painted harlots” as an earlier generation would have described them – but for many women, wearing of cosmetics was important. In those societies where women were regarded as inferior, or just ‘possessions’, then it was a way of building self-confidence, helping them ‘face the day’ – much as it is for many of us now.

In 2 Kings, at the end of wicked Jezebel’s life, when she knows her number is up, we read that she ‘painted her eyes, arranged her hair, and looked out of the window’ Bad news was coming, but she intended to receive it looking good, looking like a queen.

Eye make up was really important to OT women- both the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel refer to it – possibly the highly prized, expensive antimony, a black powder, or kohl [that’s K O H L, not the stuff for the fire] and kohl pencils are still used today.

You will remember the story of Job, who suffered so much – and lost everything, including his children. In Ch 42 we read that ‘the Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first – and gave him seven more sons and three more daughters’ Job called the youngest “Keren Happuch” – which actually means “A little box for eye make up” – probably because antimony was so costly that it would have been kept in a tiny, precious box – and Job felt that his last daughter was a tiny, precious treasure, to be loved and kept safely.

And in the book of Esther, we discover that the King banished his first wife, Queen Vashti – and gave orders that some beautiful young women were to be brought to the palace- and given beauty treatments – so the King could find a new Queen. And the Jewish girl Esther won that particular Beauty Contest.

There is indeed, nothing new under the sun! Long before L’Oreal said ‘you’re worth it’ and Olay told us to ‘love the skin you’re in’ women have relied on powder and paint and potions to give confidence and cover their perceived blemishes.

I’m not knocking that – we may need a bit of help sometimes – but we all know that sort of beauty IS only ‘skin deep’. The apostle Peter – who was a married man, after all, so had probably endured his wife having a Bad Hair Day – reminds us that our true beauty comes not from outward adornments – but should be that of our inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

I finish with a question for you - how long do you spend getting your hair and face ready each day – and do you spend as long getting your heart and soul ready? How many minutes on brushing and powdering and how many on Bible reading and praying? Its just a thought


  1. Just a thought - but a good one!

  2. Interesting and thought provoking post!
    I admit to doing not much of either!

    Hope the weekend is going smoothly?

    Sandie xx

  3. Oh, I love a good facial. I've only had two in my 52 years! My makeup consists of a tube of mauve lipstick. That's it!
    I do find that morning immersions in the WORD smooths the wrinkles. God bless you, dear Angela. You are such a life lover!

  4. I would get in line for a massage, if I could. I'm sure I'll need it by 2:00 this afternoon!! ~Liz

  5. You really do look very lovely (in both photos, but particularly in the 'after' I have to admit!) I went to our local chemists when they were having a smilar day, and it was for me kind of in memory of my mum, who was always nagging me to do more about makeup. When I told my dad he was ever so pleased. So I think there's a case that outer beauty does do a lot for the other people in our lives, and isn't totally selfish. But now I have to go and meditate on your other thoughts - thanks for them, Ang.


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