The Art of Mirriam Neal

//mascara application

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I’ve never liked asking for things. It makes me uncomfortable. Even as a child, I can remember really wanting something, but then placing more practical concerns in front of it – it’s money mom and dad don’t need to spend, I don’t actually NEED it, I can try to make it myself. I was doing my makeup the other morning and I realized I was going to need a new mascara tube, and I thought can I afford this if I’m still going out with a friend on Saturday and taking my sister to the movies on Sunday and—

And then I realized, all I had to do was add it to the shopping list. Mom would have no problem buying one for me. I knew this, but instead I thought, “Well, if I just combine that last tube with this one, I can stretch it out and….”

A verse from the New Testament came to mind as I finished applying mascara. It was Hebrews 4:16. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

What on earth, I thought, does that have to do with mascara?

And then I realized, my reluctance to ask for things also showed itself in spiritual areas, not just physical ones. I’m all right with asking for things – for understanding, wisdom, patience. But I’m horrible at asking for God to take things from me. “God, please take this ache from me. Please take this guilt, this regret, this frustration, this anger.” Somewhere in the back of my subconscious, I’m thinking, God definitely has enough on His plate without me adding more junk to it.

But that isn’t what He wants. He asks for these things. In exchange for endless mercy, grace, and love, he wants all these issues, all these spiritual diseases and injuries. But I’m not good at asking Him to take them. I’m not good at asking for relief. For some reason, I felt I would be ‘putting God out’ if I piled more things on Him, but that’s so backwards, so opposite of everything He says.

He wants our questions so He can give us answers. He wants our tears so He can give us joy. He needs us to give these things to Him so He can exchange them for something so much better. And here I was, viewing myself as an imposition without even realizing it.

There is no such thing as an imposition to God. He wants all of you, and He always will.

(Maybe next week I’ll ponder my eyeliner.)

 

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