Dogwood Digest by Julie Coleman
One Middle-Aged Woman: Priceless
"For the Lord takes pleasure in His people." Psalm 149:4
I am no diva.
My daughter Melanie would roll her eyes at this statement and say, "No kidding!" Before every speaking event, Melanie insists on approving my outfit. She is afraid to let me leave the house without fashion supervision. "Put on some mascara," she urges. "Lipstick will make you appear more professional." I sigh and try to be obedient to her fashion sense, since I have none of my own.
This past spring on a shopping trip in Chicago with my cousins, we wandered into a chic makeup boutique. Right away I knew I didn't belong there as I noted the glamorous women browsing the store. But as I tried to stay inconspicuous and peruse the aisles (so as not to embarrass my cousins), a makeup artist swept over. It was like I had a bull's-eye painted on my forehead. She wanted to give me a makeover. I tried to explain that makeup wasn't really a huge part of my daily routine. A face like mine would be a waste of her time. She insisted.
I felt sorry for her. She seemed so nice and sincere, so desperate to please. So I put myself into her hands.
The woman worked wonders. My eyes looked brighter and my face younger. I wrote down every product she used to perform her magic. Then I went shopping.
Please note: previously, the most sophisticated cosmetic purchase I had ever made was at the drugstore. So as I shopped, I didn't think to look at prices. How expensive could eye shadow be? If only I knew.
Eventually I found myself in line with my little basket of purchases, again noticing the beautiful, stylish women now in line all around me. Obviously if you cared about your appearance, you bought your makeup in this place. I tried to pretend I was a regular customer and nonchalantly stepped up to the counter.
The young beauty behind the counter rang up my purchases. "Good news," she enthused. "You have spent over $150! That entitles you to a special gift!" One hundred fifty dollars?? For blush and powder? I almost passed out. Excruciatingly aware of the Beautiful People surrounding me in line, I gulped and handed over my credit card, trying to look casual, as if this was a routine purchase for a diva like me. My hand was shaking. I thought I might possibly throw up, right there in front of a bunch of super models. How would I explain this to my husband? How good can makeup really be? Was the stuff made of ground up diamonds?
My cousins and I left the store together. I was still shaken. "I j-just spent $150 on eye shadow," I stammered. "Those people think a lot of their makeup."
In the real estate market, a home's value is pretty much determined by what someone is willing to pay for it. Similarly, the boutique's confidence in their product was demonstrated by the cost they assigned to it. Apparently I validated their assumption, since I willingly paid their price. The signature on my credit card slip indicated this makeup was indeed worth $150. At least to me. Apparently.
We can say the same for our own worth, according to Scripture. Our value has been determined by the price God was willing to pay. "You were redeemed...with precious blood...the blood of Christ" (2 Peter 1:18-19). Our value to God is unfathomable. He proved it by shelling out an exorbitant, unimaginable price: the life of His only Son. "You have been bought with a price," Paul wrote the Corinthians. "Therefore, glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20).
(NPA note: I was blessed to meet this author at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.)