One of the sweetest, deepest conversations I’ve had with a stranger started off with her comment, “I love your lipstick. Do you mind telling me what color you are wearing?” From there, we discussed profound lip color principles which led us, of course, to the glory of Jesus. As a matter of fact, I’ve had many deep conversations that stemmed from my love of make-up, furthering my belief that Jesus can use whatever you have for His glory.
Tim Tebow has football and baseball, I have lip gloss.
As we ponder our word for June, “light,” I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the 2018 make-up trends as listed by Allure, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and InStyle. Here are just a few of the trends “highlighted” in these publications:
High-shine lip gloss
Are you spotting the trend among these trends? Our culture is doubling down on manufacturing a radiant glow. The look is decidedly “heavenly” and “angelic.” I’m not going to lie, the first time I used a highlighter and took a picture with friends I laughed out loud. I looked like I’d been to the holy of holies. My friends looked like mere mortals next to me. The light that surrounded my face was captivating, hilarious and fabricated.
After seeing this year’s hot make-up trend, I looked up “radiant make-up tutorials” on YouTube and found no end to the videos offering step-by-step techniques to get that heavenly glow. However, there is another way to exude light to a watching world. Moses, of all people, gave a clear tutorial a few thousand years before YouTube would make the scene. It was back in Exodus to be exact.
Moses is widely known for leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and through a 40-year journey to The Promised Land. There were the plagues, parting of the Red Sea, manna from Heaven and water from a rock. There is so much to be learned from Moses’ journey, but I want to focus on the one verse just after Moses came down from his 40 days on Mount Sinai with God.
Exodus 34:29 says, “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord,” (emphasis mine).
Moses spent 40 days with God, seeking and speaking to Yahweh, and came back to the Israelites literally glowing. We’re not talking about a twinkle in his eye, an unwavering smile or perpetually lifted eyebrows. His face was actually reflecting brilliance and light.
In all of our on-trend efforts to look illuminated, it’s worth mentioning that Moses’ glowing face was authentic. It was not manufactured or brushed on. Moses wasn’t trying to shine – he didn’t even realize he was aglow until he was told by the Israelites. His radiance came directly from the glory of God and the time they spent together on Mount Sinai. I think it’s also important to mention that he didn’t go spend time with God in order to glow. His radiant countenance was a byproduct of their time together, but that’s not the reason Moses went. Moses was being faithful and obedient, not vain.
Even so, Moses’ glow did serve greater purposes beyond wowing the Israelites. His radiant face told his fellow journeymen that Moses was their chosen leader (they needed this reminder as they’d just build a golden calf to worship in Exodus 32). From his light-filled face, the Israelites knew that Moses’ instructions came directly from God. And his brilliant aura let the Israelites know without a doubt that their mission was holy.
His radiance told a bigger story beyond his physical appearance – Moses had been in the presence of the One True God. Even today, the Mosaic Radiance Principle (I just made that up) holds true. When my oldest daughter was in first grade, she had a tiny, silver-haired, soft-spoken teacher named Mrs. Matheny. Just weeks into the school year, I found myself wondering about Mrs. Matheny’s beauty regimen. In my mind, she was one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen. The more time I spent with Mrs. Matheny, the more striking she became. I found myself wondering how a woman in her late 60’s maintained such vibrant beauty.
Then it hit me. The beauty I was seeing was the authentic radiance of Mrs. Matheny spending her entire life at the feet of Jesus. Every word, every gesture, every action from her was informed by her unwavering, intimate relationship with Christ. She was (and still is) GORGEOUS. But her beauty doesn’t come from a product or regimen. No, Mrs. Matheny’s glow comes from being Son-kissed and abiding in Him.
The truth is, anything we buy to brush on is just smoke in mirrors. While today’s cosmetic companies are eager to fabricate a radiant glow, Moses’ method still works. Beautifully.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26