I am not Catholic but I decided to observe Lent this year. I was inspired by a short video that I saw on Twitter of a priest discussing the topic. On a whim the day before Lent began I decided to not use make up for 40 days. I took it as a new experience and challenge.
I am a light make up user. I don’t use concealer, powder or foundation. But I do enjoy black liquid eyeliner, black mascara and a nice bold lip color. Getting ready in the morning is my favorite part of the day. I have fun choosing what I’m going to wear and applying my make up. I think of it as my time to spend on myself before I go out and try to satisfy the world.
The first few days of Lent I was very uncomfortable. It was shocking to see my reflection when I passed a mirror. I felt like a few people that were use to seeing me with make up looked at me strange. I felt like I needed to explain my appearance but I didn’t because I would have seemed very self centered because they probably didn’t think anything of my appearance at all.
I didn’t feel like I was doing my best when I wasn’t wearing make up because I feel that I look better with it. I wanted to give up on my challenge early on and throughout Lent. I didn’t feel like I was becoming spiritually enlightened or closer to God. I just looked plain in the face and I didn’t see any value in that.
I wish I could say that I spent the time that I usually spent applying make up reading the Bible or in prayer. I didn’t. And I didn’t show up places fifteen minutes sooner than normal either.
I was really happy once Easter arrived and I could wear make up again. It was like being reunited with an old friend. Observing Lent didn’t have an Earth shattering spiritual affect on me but I do feel like I learned some discipline and I learned to put aside vanity for the sake of honoring God. I removed a part of my life that is important to me and glorifies myself and put it to the side for a while. I’m glad that I observed Lent this year and I am actually looking forward to doing it again next year.
The experience reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses:
Galatians 2:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.