Saturday, July 14, 2007

Purification before Beautification

Interact at Yahoo Groups: what are some of your personal purification rituals?
I've been giving last Tuesday's podcast some thought. I explained that I am what I call a WSYWIG kind of gal. "What You See Is What You Get" My makeup is minimalist and I don't color my hair. I explained that these were items that I was working on. However, what I neglected to say as part of that personal testimony is that I spend a large amount of time working on being as natural as possible. I am working on my diet and my lifestyle that it might be more reflective of the God's natural creation. So, although I am not what you call "Green" by any measure (I do have gel nails!) I do work at what I consider a Holy lifestyle of natural balance. That being said, I got to thinking about Esther's beautification process. (I told you, ladies, I am going to try to do better in the ponytail and flipflop department where my husband is concerned.)
And, it dawned on me, that Esther went through what the New Testament termed a twelve "months of beautification. "
Before a girl's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.
Do you see that part where it says "oil of myrrh"? Do you know what oil of myrrh is?
It is used in aromatherapy treatments for its purification and healing characteristics. During Biblical times, this oil was widely used for its antiseptic, deodorant, and anti-fungal properties. In religious ceremonies it was given/used as a symbol of purification. Remember it was given to baby Jesus as a gift from the Magi (Luke 1).
Esther was required to spend the first six months of those twelve months working on cleansing, healing and purification. The implication was that she must become pure of mind, body and spirit before meeting her King. This soo inspired me, not only because this is what I personally working on for the past year. But, it inspired me even more because I think it is such a good lesson for us as women.
This lesson keeps us from the danger of appearances. If we concentrated on appearances FIRST, we might become confused that when others see us as "well put together", we, therefore, must be "well put together." I'm sure you know and understand that being well put together on the outside can many times be a disguise for some rough stuff going on on the inside.
Lets look back at Vashti's description:
King Xerxes commanded..."to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at." (Esther 1:11 italics mine)
Wow! I would hope that if anyone were going to comment on me, my appearance would not be what caused a stir. I hope instead my appearance would be a by-product, a representation, of who I am.
About Esther it was said:
And Esther won favor in the sight of all who saw her.
16So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus into his royal palace in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the maidens, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
In the description of Vashti, the Bible records a Hebrew word that means very simply with the sight of one's eyes. In the description of the Kings reaction to Esther, the Bible records a word for sight that is interpreted as the very presence of one. So, in Esther's case, the King and others were respond with their presence to her presence. In Vida speak, they were "catching Esther's vibe" they were not just "seeing" her. Esther's person was probably "fair to gaze upon" but it was her presence that was causing such a stir.

By concentrating on our purification first, we will cause our presence to change. It will be our inside that will transform from a duckling to a swan. (Mind you I did not say ugly duckling. I believe in the intrinsic value of God's creations.) We are allowing broken selves to be healed and resurfaced and remade at the potters wheel by the potters' hands. The result will be revolutionary:
Jeremiah 18:
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 2 "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
So, keeping with my personal testimony...maybe the words of Proverbs 31:22 God's latest nudge for me to start my beautification process.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

maybe this is my time to get dressed, because like Esther, I've spent the past few months recovering from my Vashti appearance.

Hmmm...something for me to think about.

1 comment:

shyronn said...

This was a very good article - gave me much to think on -- thanks!!