Listen to this devotional:
Philippians 2:5-7 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)
Some time ago, my dear friend, Ruth, met me at the beach for the day. She lives in the United States, and we seldom have the opportunity to meet. She handed me a book, and in it were these words:
- Happy birthday to the Queen, you, who loves to give a touch of lipstick to each soul you meet! I love you for it!
I cried a couple of days later when I began to read the book, which tells how, amid the horrors of life and death in a World War II concentration camp, someone had the incredible idea of sending a large quantity of red lipsticks to the prisoners. The women, thin and corpse-like, wore bright red lipstick, with pride on their faces. It gave them dignity, hope, and humanity. What a difference a bit of lipstick can make!
Ruth knew that my soul's desire was to love like God, to give a bit of heaven to the people in my life, to add some lipstick to their souls.
A few days later, at the end of the school year, one of my students gave me a glass angel with a golden halo and gold-tipped wings, holding a shell with a golden pearl in her hands. She said that I had been an angel to her. Again, I cried.
Later that day, while I was playing outside with Jackson, my son, my husband accidentally brushed the box with the edge of his briefcase and knocked it to the kitchen floor. The angel tumbled out, and the hands broke off. I was upset. The gift had been so special to me, and now, it was broken. I went back outside and continued to play with Jackson. He asked me if I was angry with Papa, and I said that, yes, I was. Then he asked if I would forgive Papa, and I sighed and answered yes, again. The lessons of a child! I looked down, and in the grass on the lawn at my feet was a tube of lipstick. Tears came to my eyes.
In the night, I was praying and asking God to help me understand all of this.
The hands of the angel were my hands. At times in the previous months, I had felt as if I were handing pearls of love and wisdom to kids at school who didn't want them, who were not interested in what I had to give. My soul wanted to make a difference with "lipstick" and be transparent, loving even the difficult-to-love, despite their response. God knows that my desire and calling is to have the hands of an angel, giving golden pearls to each one I meet. He knows how disappointing working with teenagers can be at times and that sometimes I get tired. He asks me to forgive and love again. The lipstick is right there at my feet. I just need to pick it up.
Prayer: Show us the way, God, and help us to be Your lipstick and Your gift of pearls and Your hands of an angel. "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14 NIV) Amen.