Recently, an appalling article has been going around about two daughters who are basically living, breathing, walking, talking billboards for their father's plastic surgery practice. It is all pretty horrifying and really sick on so many fronts.
The cosmetic surgery industry (Note: I am not at all talking about the necessary plastic surgery to
repair accidents or congenital abnormalities, I am talking about the
type that is intended to turn you into a voluptuous beach babe
bombshell, even when you are 60.) is baffling to me. I just don't get it. I'm not one to go for glitz and glamor, bling and fashion. Being more of an overalls and ponytail type of gal, it completely eludes me how anybody could would want to do all that stuff to their body, much less cough up the big bucks to get the goods. But I have to look beyond that and try to understand.
We live in a world where it is not OK to age. It is not OK to not be beautiful. Who you are is defined by how you appear to be and how you appear to be will determine if you are admired, respected, and loved.
That said, it then makes sense that, in certain cultures (just not mine), women go to extreme lengths for "improvement" that their culture demands. They are grasping. Desperately grasping. Then again, I grasp, too.
-Every time I look in the mirror and panic because, well, I ain't what I used to be, I am grasping.
-Every time I pull on a pair of pants that just didn't used to be that tight and am hit with a wave of despair that I am morphing into a middle-aged, frumpy, female Jabba the Hutt, I am grasping.
-Every time I compare my real estate sales production for the year to everybody else's in order to determine whether I am really competent at what I do, I am grasping.
-Every time I write a blog post and put it out there and worry because it isn't getting many comments and I feel naked and ashamed, I am grasping.
-Every time I see some other mother "doing it right" in some way where I failed and I beat myself up and say that God should have never given me children if I was going to fail them so, I am grasping.
-Every time I see that some friend ran a marathon and I can't even run a mile and I feel totally inadequate and lazy to boot, I am grasping.
-Every time somebody says something insightful and wise and I feel a twinge of envy that I wasn't the first to say it, I am grasping.
-Every time I play "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" and lose and I feel like a complete idiot for being such a brainless wonder, I am grasping.
-Every time I fret because I am not as "tough" as I feel I should be to gain respect or ward off physical or emotional pain, I am grasping.
-Really, any time I sit around comparing myself to other people (I have turned it into an art form), I am grasping.
-And any time I believe that it is up to me to control everything I can about this life because it really is all up to me after all, I am grasping.
It is the most natural thing in the world to grasp, I suppose. To reach for all the wrong things that were never, ever meant to define me.
So I must let go. Release my pathetic and desperate grasp on the things that will never ever satisfy. Jesus, through his immeasurable grace, has accomplished it all for me. It has been said and done. It is finished. I can never be more loved and secure than I am right now. He has grasped me and will never let go.
I forget this now and again. Too often, I must say. But I am starting to get it, little by little. With each glance in the mirror, and twang of regret, or twitch of envy, I am starting to get it. Next time I grasp, may it be that I grasp for grace.