Monday, October 02, 2006

Not your color

"I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." Matthew 13:13

My sixteen-year-old, Debbie, and I are driving to church and she looks at me and says, "Mom, that lipstick is not a good color for you. You really need to take it off and put on something else."

So I fished around and found a napkin and wiped it off. She found something else in my purse that I then applied it, as women often do, at the next red light.

I grew up a "tom-boy." You’d be much more likely to find me riding my bike, up a tree, or wading in a brook, than to find me playing with my mom’s make-up. My mom, however, was a "girly" girl. She would never leave the house without lipstick on.

I find that God has such a sense of humor giving me daughters who are much more like my mother than myself. It’s almost like He is giving me another chance with these kind of women. Because I love Debbie so much that it is hard to hate her guts just because she is so beautiful and has such fashion sense.

My mom tried to give me fashion sense advice but I often rebuffed her. I remember clearly one night when I was a teen, I came downstairs, dressed for a date and she said to me, "Did you comb your hair?" Even today, if we are going out together she will instruct me to put on lipstick before we go.

I did not want to hear my mother. Maybe it was her way of telling me. Maybe it was the foolishness of my youth. I wanted to be the woman I was and not who she wanted me to be. I wanted to know I was not wrong in my opinions and my choices.

While there was some merit to that, often we do to see ourselves as others see us. Don’t we all need someone to ride beside us and be frank with us when we have the wrong color lipstick on? Should we not embrace those who love us enough to tell us that?

Now, maybe because I am older, I welcome the information. Some times the comment is not valid or right for me, but I want to know.

How often have I heard people speak but have hardened my heart? Is God not still using the situations and people in my life as parables, instructing me to make my life more like His?

Let us all pray that we have a ears that hear and hearts that desire to know God’s best color for our lives.

And when we speak truth to others, may we do it with the love and gentleness, like Debbie.

"For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them." Matthew 13:15

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