I am undertaking the most intensive lenten fast I’ve ever done. I am abstaining from a few things, stepping away from a ministry that has defined my days for the last two years, but most obviously, I’m committed to no makeup for the season. There are a couple feast-day exceptions, but today I began the longest time without my lovely mask since I was 13 yrs old. I feel fragile and transparent. I feel like I can’t see clearly (or be seen clearly) without my mascara.
But all I want to see is Jesus. I want to see His face when I catch my reflection in the mirror, and hear His voice answer the question, “Am I enough?”.
The next few steps on the path of obedience for me are excruciating ones. But I take them with hope that there is beauty beyond them and with faith that this path leads to freedom. Two things today lent language to my head and heart.
” Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
And second, this excerpt from Ch. 7: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, in the Narnia series. This is where Eustace recounts how he went from having been stranded in a greedy dragon’s body to his new self in new clothes:
“I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected:
a huge lion coming slowly toward me.
And one queer thing was that there was no moon last night,
but there was moonlight where the lion was. So it came nearer and nearer.
I was terribly afraid of it. You may think that, being a dragon,
I could have knocked any lion out easily enough. But it wasn’t that kind of fear.
I wasn’t afraid of it eating me, I was just afraid of it — if you can understand.
Well, it came close up to me and looked straight into my eyes.
And I shut my eyes tight. But that wasn’t any good because it told me to follow it.”
“You mean it spoke?”
“I don’t know. Now that you mention it, I don’t think it did.
But it told me all the same. And I knew I’d have to do what it told me,
so I got up and followed it. And it led me a long way into the mountains.
And there was always this moonlight over and round the lion wherever we went.
So at last when we came to the top of a mountain I’d never seen before and
on the top of this mountain there was a garden –
trees and fruit and everything. In the middle of it there was a well. . . .
“Then the lion said — but I don’t know if it spoke —
‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws,
I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now.
So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.
And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt.
The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of
feeling the stuff peel off. You know — if you’ve ever picked the scab
off a sore place. It hurts like billy — oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.
“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off — just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt — and there it was lying on the grass:
only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobly-looking than the others had been.
And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been.
Then he caught hold of me — I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath
now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything
but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I
started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm.
And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again.
…I think you saw Aslan,” Edmund said”