Some people are born with full, beautiful lips. But not Rebecca.
She always had thin little lipettes until today. They used to just sit on her face, but now they had their own reality show.
Every so often I had to force my eyes up to meet hers, as mine kept getting hung up on the big shiny blobs sitting where her lips used to reside. They looked swollen and took up about a third of her face. Two pink slugs trying to talk.
Cotton candy colored sparkly lip gloss gave The Lips a larger-than-life look. I noticed people shielding their eyes from the glare. Bubble-gum pink lip liner gave The Lips a multi-dimensional reality. Apparently she had slapped on a jar of Vaseline to finish off the look. I could not believe that she could talk with all the gunk on her lips. It was a miracle. I half expected The Lips to get stuck together, and then I would have to call 911. I slipped into a daydream…
* * * * * * * * * * * *
“Emergency Services. How can I help you?”
Breathing heavily, I gasped for air. “It’s my friend Rebecca,” I sputtered.
“What’s the problem, ma’am?”
“It’s her lips.” There. I managed to get it out.
“Yes, that’s right. Her lips are stuck together, and …”
“Did she accidentally swallow Elmer’s glue? That happens to a lot of first graders.”
“No, I think she wanted to have voluminous, movie-star lips, and had a lip job, then piled on truckloads of lip gloss, lip liner, and Vaseline to get the fullest look possible. And now she can’t pry her lips apart.”
“Okay, this is obviously a prank call, and I’m gonna have to report you.” Click.
“Cherrie, hello, are you listening?” Rebecca rolled her eyes at me. “For a minute it looked like you were off in your own little world.”
Oops. I guess I was off in my own head for a few minutes, thinking about the lengths we go to transform ourselves into our culture’s standard of beauty. I was born with full lips, but I suppose if I could buy a pair of longer legs, I would consider it. 🙂
Nowadays I have more positive feelings about my body. Since I came down with ankylosing spondylitis and later lupus, I’ve learned to appreciate my body for its amazing ability to do what God designed to do. Although I was an athlete and treated my body pretty well, I was shocked to develop such auto-immune disorders. My focus is now much more about, “I’m so thankful I can walk and breathe with no pain,” than “Does my butt look big in these jeans?”I remember days when I couldn’t do those things without crying in pain, and there was a whole month that I couldn’t walk at all. To use the restroom, I had to roll off the couch and crawl on my knees down the hall. So nowadays I try to focus more on the good and less on the body parts I would have liked to trade in for a newer model. But over all, I am filled with gratitude that my body has the capability of moving in such amazing ways. I try to stay out of Negative-ville in my head. After all, it’s a jungle in there!
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 (Philippians 4:8-9)
This is me kayaking on Lake Perryagin in Winthrop, WA. Kayaking and chocolate are my drugs of choice!
(NOTE: Rebecca is not her real name. )