Hello, friends! It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for our weekly online Bible study posts. This week, we read two chapters in Lisa Whittle’s book: Behind Those Eyes. Chapter six is entitled, Cosmetics for the Soul; Chapter seven, The Feelings We Conceal. For more on these chapters, visit Lelia’s blog and drop in on some of our fellow travelers.
Lisa opens chapter six with a beautiful story about Concealment. She tells how, when she was working at a cosmetics counter, she was approached by a woman who was badly burned. This sweet woman asked for help in covering the scars on her face. Lisa tells how she worked for “nearly an hour”, using different techniques and products to help the woman.
Don’t you just feel that woman’s shame as she lowered her hood to reveal her disfigured face? Doesn’t your heart cry out at her vulnerability–exposed? Can you imagine the courage it took to lower that veil?
Though we may not carry the physical marks, aren’t we all trying to hide our scars? When we put on that false face, isn’t it a wall—a fortress–to protect some past wound in our souls?
Lisa came to the realization that day that the many women she worked with “were trying to conceal things about themselves in order to hide the truth and escape rejection from others.”
Lisa talks about the Original Sin and how, in the Garden, “the very first thing Adam and Eve did when they sinned against God was to cover themselves with leaves, feeling exposed by their own sin. As a result, the first big cover-up after the world came into existence was what Adam and Eve did in the garden that day. And we have been trying to cover up ourselves, in one way or another, ever since.”
How many times have I tried to hide behind my fig leaves to cover up the truth of my imperfections?
Not only does it not work, it keeps me from working toward healing and reconciliation. I hide from the truth in hope that no one else will guess how ugly my scars underneath those fig leaves are.
Lisa goes on to describe the different ways we let the truth slip through our fingers (The influence of society, Lies by Satan, Poor choices).
But the truth is, there is only One Way to transform our scarred and bruised hearts: through the healing power of God’s Love.
In chapter seven, Lisa talks about the different feelings we try to conceal in our attempts to hide our true self. Insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, and fear are just a few of the ugly emotions that we try to tuck away in our hearts, hoping they will disappear on their own. But they always seep out somewhere along the line if not handled in a godly way.
I love the commentary Lisa cites from the New Living Translation Bible regarding David and Jonathan’s friendship:
1. They based their friendship on commitment to God, not just to each other.
2. They let nothing come between them, not even career or family problems.
3. They drew closer together when their friendship was tested.
4. They remained friends until the end.
The story of David and Jonathan has always been one of my favorites. These two men loved one another more than they loved themselves. I am always moved to tears when I read of how David mourned after Jonathan’s death, and how he cared for Jonathan’s only son in the years to come.
There is no room for insecurity, jealousy, loneliness or fear in a relationship like that.
That is the kind of friendship that I want. That is the kind of friend that I want to be. To free my heart up to love in this way, I have to fill it with the Father.
Lisa ends the chapter by saying, “Whether we are feeling insecure, jealous, lonely, or afraid, our precious Father desires to hold us and tell us we are worthy, important, gifted, never alone, and never to fear. He longs to uncover these feelings we hide so that we can find out who we are, once and for all…without all the concealer.”
(Please visit my sweet friend Ann, Beautiful Heart, to read a true story of Masks.)