Thursday, March 12, 2015

Perfecting My Stinky Face

Stinky Face Contest Winner
Yesterday's conversation as my 3-year-old grandbuddy Blaine watched me putting on my make-up to go to work:

Blaine: What's that stuff do, Mimi?
Me: It's blush; it makes me look less dead, er, I mean it gives me more color.
Blaine: Oh. Why do you want to be pink?
Me: I don't want to be pink. I just don't want to look like a walking marshmallow.
Silence while he contemplates this deep concept.
Blaine: What are you doing now, Mimi?
Me: Spraying perfume to make me smell pretty. See - [holding out left wrist for olfactory inspection] - what do you think?
Blaine: [making identical face to the little guy in the photo] Ugghh. You smell like my Pull-Ups.

Swell.

I, too, have been perfecting my stinky face lately. Not intentionally, but often when I pass the reflective surface of a mirror, microwave, or window, I'm floored at the horrible expression staring back at me. The thing is, I'm not necessarily angry ... or sad ... or even displeased. I'm just preoccupied. So preoccupied that I'm not aware of what my face is doing, and apparently when ignored, my facial muscles default to the same scowl I'd seen on my mother's face a million times as a child.

I used to think she was always mad at me. And once when I asked her what I'd done, she seemed surprised and responded, "Why, nothing. I'm not upset with you; I'm focused on what I'm doing. Just ignore my face."

Well, of course that's impossible. The face is the window into the mind, and we as human beings are prone to reading the faces of those standing before us to discern what they're thinking. Frowns, pouts and snarls indicate indignation, resentment, and wrath, whereas a pleasant countenance reflects interest, encouragement, and concern. A warm and sincere smile makes us feel warm too, as well as accepted, uplifted, and loved all over. A slack jaw, sagging muscles and glazed-over eyes shout fatigue, boredom and disinterest.

It's the way Papa God wired us. Reading faces is our feedback mechanism to know where we stand with others. Body language sends signals loud and clear to those around us about what's going on inside.

So that leads me to these convicting questions: Does my expression edify people or frighten the bejeebies out of them? Are they blessed or intimidated? Does the love of Jesus shine through my eyes and encourage through my smile? Has my face caught on to the joy of the Lord in my heart?

In a nutshell, is the God's-love-with-skin-on-it ME I want to portray to people I encounter the ME they really see?  I'm supposed to attract them to Him, right, not repel them?

Hmm. Maybe I should tell my face the good news more often. Maybe I should make a serious effort to be more aware of my subconscious stinky face and offer my countenance to the Lord as an instrument of praise.

And leave the Eau de Pull-Ups at home.


1 comment:

gilgonzalez said...

Love this post, Deb.

Perhaps the exercise here is to replace preoccupied with occupied by His grave and love. If we work on making Him the focus of all we say, think, and do, then when our mind wanders, it will do so to the default place that can only make us smile because we'll be thinking of how blessed we are to be His children.