Once upon a time in the not so distant past, I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing pink. (Okay, that might be 25-30 years ago, but still...) Pink is girly and THAT described my sister, not me. Actually, my little sister defined "girly," personified it, made it an artform. She wore pink blouses, painted her fingernails and toenails pink, had pink sheets, even painted ginormous pink triangles on her bedroom walls. Girlyness naturally oozed out of her pores. As a small child, she wore gloves and a hat to church when it wasn't Easter, refused to wear jeans, and loved shoes. She screamed at the merest hint of a spider, trembled and clung to Mother in the dark, and refused to get dirty. She gave up running after about age ten because girls can't run and look pretty. According to my sister, some kind of facial distortion occurs when we run, so girls don't run.
I was the complete opposite. I lived for the freedom of an early morning burst from the confines of the kitchen after breakfast. On nonschool or church days, I usually stayed outside until lunch. After lunch, I'd run back outdoors where I played in the trenches my father meticulously dug for watering our orange orchard, rode our old nag Angel, or hid out in the treehouse Dad built in the big black walnut tree beside the barn. With my faithful dog in tow, I raced all over our dusty farm. I investigated the innards of fascinating mechanical creatures like my dad's thrashing machine. I built and furnished a fort complete with several rooms amid the bamboo on the banks of the usually dry San Luis Rey River. I always went barefoot, whether exploring our farm by foot or bicycle. Sometimes I got so dirty Mother insisted on two baths in one day--one before dinner and another quick one before bed. Yup. Tomboy. No pink for me.
But today I found myself staring into a closet loaded with pink. I selected a pink top, pink flowered capris and pink flip-flops studded with silver Southwestern decorations set in hot pink leather which I couldn't resist on our recent road trip through Albuquerque. One of my friends actually describes me as "girly." ME!
How in God's green world did I get HERE?
Apparently, at some point in my life I managed to tap into my feminine side. It wasn't intentional. My husband Bob consitently expresses an inflated notion of my beauty no matter how old and out of shape I get. That is so very sweet and dear it makes me want to be better. Or maybe the influence of my beautiful biological mother birthed this surge of feminity. How I adore when people tell me I look like her. I never felt pretty before that.
Like it or not, I'm getting older. The old barn requires a bit more paint to keep it looking presentable than when it was new. (My father's explanation for the curious use of makeup.)
But as I age, I become increasingly aware that all these trappings of femininity and beauty are fleeting at best and always only skin deep. What God cares about is my heart. When my heart is "in the pink" so to speak, I am firmly centered on Jesus. Seeking His will for me, depending on His power and strength, longing to spend time in God's Word, or basking in the glow of His outrageous love for me. It is this love that makes me face outward instead of being self-centered. To look with eyes of compassion at those who struggle around me, to serve God and Man with a glad heart because God in His great mercy has been compassionate in blessing me. To forgive because I have been forgiven so much. God commanded us to "...love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus added to this, "...you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:38.
So with advancing years, I'm acquiring a fresh passion for sharing the love of Christ in tangible ways. All my primping and meticulous attention to outward appearance means nothing if I remain selfish and prideful inside. Real true beauty that lasts through the Golden Years and into eternity comes from surrendering myself in service. Then God provides power to make me all that He created me to be.
How's your heart today? Are you feeling "pretty and pink" inside? The way to inner beauty and peace that shines to our faces is sacrifice. Giving ourselves away. Today I wear pink as a reminder that it is the "color" of my heart that truly matters.
In my book, THE ROAD TO TERMINUS George Stanton only cares about outward appearance. His focus centers on dressing in the finest clothes, making the most money, living in the biggest house, having a beautiful trophy wife and perfect children. But as he journeys along Route 66 with two strangers, God strips away all his trappings of wealth, power and prestige so George has no other option than to look up and see Him standing with open, loving and compassionate arms, waiting for a relationship.