Like a carnival barker the woman summoned me to the store entrance. I glanced in her direction as she held out a sample of moisturizer explaining, “We’re sharing a few of our skin care products today.” I hesitated. She continued, “It’s free.” I thought, Oh what the heck. I took the small foil pack, thanked her and turned to walk away.
“Wait, I have one more thing for you. It’s a sample of our non-surgical eye lift serum.” “No thank you,” I responded.
Before I knew it I left my husband, Bob, standing in the mall and I was sitting in a chair facing a mirror. How did this happen? I never fall for this sort of thing, I thought.
But there I was in a spa–as she called it–at the mall getting a trial non-surgical eye lift from the carnival (like) barker. Her name was Lily. As Lily applied the potions, I kept telling her, “I’m not purchasing anything.”
All of a sudden Bob appeared with a look on his face that said, “For real?” I shrugged my shoulders and smiled. “No no, don’t smile, don’t move,” Lily commanded. I sat up straight, threw my shoulders back and froze to attention.
She applied a gel substance under my eyes, smoothed it, fanned my face with a piece of paper and explained to me that the routine would have to be done a couple of times a week. She added that I should notice amazing results in just a few applications.
“There,” she swung my chair toward Bob. “What do you think? This is just one treatment and look how amazing she looks. Imagine what this will do with long-term applications? This is like Botox in a bottle at an affordable price.”
Bob studied my face, nods and says, “Yes, she looks great. I see the difference.”
I started to say, “Really?” But Lily stopped me at ‘real’ and instructed me not to move the muscles around my eyes. She said, “Like Botox, it’s working on relaxing all your muscles.” I looked in the mirror. The skin around my eyes did appear smooth but only if I didn’t move any part of my face.
Lily offers Bob the same treatment stating that men use it too. Bob declines saying, “I don’t need it.” That’s when I thought, Hmm…but I do?
Lily informs me of the cost of Botox and then shares the price of the eye treatment indicating how affordable it would be.
Bob’s stunned look and my squirming to get out of the chair must have signaled to Lily that we were done. She whipped out a cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliate scrub and said that the package was worth over $800.00 but for that day she’d give it to us for the price of the eye lift serum which was $400.00.
“We’re hungry, it’s time for lunch,” I looked toward Bob and we start to leave.
Lily throws in a nail care package thinking that would seal the deal.
As we head for the exit, Lily follows us waving her business card and I see two women purchasing the products from another carnival (like) barker. Now we’re really stunned.
Bob and I break free and make a run for the nearest restaurant. On our way, I must have made some facial expressions, because I caught a glimpse of myself in the lady’s room mirror at the restaurant. I leaned in closer and saw dried gel serum crackling in the lines around my eyes making me appear to have double the wrinkles. Then I noticed flaking white stuff hanging from my skin.
I threw on some sun glasses. We ate and ended up at Starbucks after lunch to talk about the experience and to search for reviews on our phones.
Never mind the reviews on the products. I have to review the truth.
The truth is simple–we live in a culture caught up with outward appearance. Aging is viewed as something to be ashamed of. We can’t run from the anti-aging messages. They’re all around us–telling us to tweak this, tuck that, shift this, improve that. Anti-aging. It insinuates that we have to be against aging and something must be done about it. Stat!
Today I’m reviewing the real truth. It’s found all through God’s word and it reveals what He thinks about us. He knows we’re flawed. He sees the creases, outwardly and inwardly and He loves us anyway, but he’s more concerned about our inward flaws. Those are the flaws that nobody else can see but I’m reminded that they get shed slowly over time. Those of us who are Christians are works in progress.
- Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3: 3-4)
- Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4: 16)
Being renewed day by day means that our inner glow gets brighter the more we grow in our faith. No matter what our circumstances are, or what our age is, we will radiate outwardly what is happening inwardly and that’s true beauty.
Written by: Nancy Janiga ©2015