Last year, I spoke at a moms group on the topic of ‘beauty’. While I planned to speak mostly about inner beauty, I didn’t want to seem disqualified to present the topic! So, I tried to muster all the beauty I could, as I got ready that morning. I tried on several outfits, and critiqued each one from different angles. I fussed over my hair and makeup. I even used some new mascara that I had never tried. I did the best I could, given what I had to work with. Then, I told myself, “Now it’s time to focus on what you will say, not how you look as you say it.”
When I got there, the leaders of the group graciously asked me to join them in prayer. They were so sweet in the way that they prayed over me that they even brought tears to my eyes. It was a precious moment.
It was not until after I spoke that I glanced into a mirror, as I washed my hands in the ladies’ room. I was horrified! The new mascara was obviously not ‘smudge proof’! I had black semi circles under each eye! I stood in shock for several seconds, and then burst into laughter! I asked a couple of girls at the sink beside me, “Is this how I looked when I was speaking?” Sheepishly, they nodded yes. I laughed harder! I looked so funny! Since they had never met me, these women probably assumed that I ONLY focus on inner beauty.
When I was in my twenties, I would have agonized over this, embarrassed about how I had presented myself in front of a group of seventy-five women. But age has a way helping you laugh at yourself—in a good, freeing, sort of way.
In Genesis 21, as Sarah nurses baby Isaac, she says that everyone will laugh over her. (And I suppose a ninety year old woman nursing a baby might invite laughter!) There was a time that this would have really bothered Sarah. She loathed the humiliation of infertility. But now, she giggles over the prospect of her little bundle of laughter (‘Isaac’ means laughter) spilling over into the laughter of others.
Even if our beauty is masked beneath wrinkling skin, extra pounds, or smudged mascara, let’s be women who bring laughter into the lives of others!