Cynthia L. Eppley 03/24/2021
I didn’t recognize her at first. She was geared up with a heavy coat, hood up, and masked. We spoke briefly about the cold weather and then she turned to walk away.
Something resonated within me: her gait. And then it clicked: her voice!
It was Nancy!
I had not seen her for years, and yet I remembered her gait and her voice. What is it that is uniquely ours?
What is it that imprints us in others’ minds and hearts?
Many of us have noticed…shall we say….changes in our hair in the past year. With most of the area shut down on March 12, 2020, salons were included in that list.
That meant significant changes for those of us who color our hair.
Or that should be past tense: colored our hair.
Many decided it was time to go au naturelle. If we couldn’t get into a salon to color our hair, why not try it?
Others went with the box look, trying home coloring.
But there was a large group who decided to go the gray way.
It was clearly evident:
Going gray is not an easy process. It takes years to grow out your long mane.
You can spot the tell tale signs: Gray on the top, sneaking down several inches, with various shades of color at the ends.
Where is the grace that would allow full color coverage at one time?
Full disclosure: in my case, I am white in the front and sides. Then follows a variety of silver speckling. But once you’re past the front, darker colors ensue.
Thus, a riot of color combinations is found.
Most of us take it in good humor.
My brother, so well known for his teasing, lovingly calls me “a skunk”.
In this past year, makeup has taken a hit.
Why wear makeup if we are going to stay home?
My own stash has remained dormant in a bag.
Until I need it for a significant event.
One friend told me: Her daughter saw her donning makeup and exclaimed: “Mommy, No! You don’t need that!” She had become used to the “unmasked” version of Mom.
And another friend saw me with makeup and noted: “You look so pretty!”
I’m always amazed at what a little lipstick and rouge can do: the under eye shadows are banished for a short time.
So for the most part, throw the makeup to the winds and go au naturelle.
Let’s be honest.
Many of us at home have not donned our more formal attire for a year. Sweat pants have ruled the land.
We may as well be casual and comfortable, right?
And if we have to attend a Zoom meeting, we are fortunate that only the “top half” shows. It is “Business Casual” run amok.
I wore earrings for the first time in a year.
It took some nudging to get them through my earlobes. And now my ears are a bit sensitive. Why wear earrings at home, when the casual look is reigning?
And then there is the issue of masks.
Most of us wear them to go out in public.
But at home, we are “safe and sound.”
Why bother to wear them when we are in our safe zone?
And so this brings me to my major thought:
This past year has brought us to our knees in so many ways.
But who would have thought that it would strip us of any outside conventions to supplement ourselves in some way?
Who would have thought that it would bring us to our very selves:
the unmasked naked version of reality.
This is reality.
Is it sufficient?
Is it acceptable?
Naked and Unashamed
There was a Garden, and in that garden, Adam and Eve knew a peace and easy acceptance by God. He walked among them in the Garden, in the cool of the day.
What a fellowship! What a joy Divine!
There was full acceptance.
They were “naked and unashamed.”
Isn’t it that type of relationship we all long for?
Don’t we want to be “naked and unashamed” before those who love us?
But we often hide behind fig leaves.
We hide behind masks and clothing and creams and potions to make ourselves more acceptable.
“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared
believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Timothy Keller
1 Corinthians 13: 11-12
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
What a reassurance that I am fully known.
Gray hair, in various stages of color?
No make up? No lipstick? Dark circles under my eyes? Fatigue? Weariness?
It all shows au naturelle on my face. In my countenance.
But I rest in the knowledge that I am fully known. For today, that is more than enough.