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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Forgiveness Is Like a Bikini Wax

Don’t you just love a bikini wax? NOT! I don’t know if I should think of it as a valuable beauty regimen or instrument of torture. I can think of arguments for both:

  • The Wax as a Beauty Regimen – will leave you with a sense of cleanliness and ultra-hygienic. Will also allow you to put on a swimsuit. Without shorts. However, since The Trying On of the Swimsuit can also be considered an instrument of torture, we’ll leave that out of it.
  • The Wax as an Instrument of Torture – may bring tears to your eyes, whimpering, “For the love of God…” May also cause untold bathroom mishaps if The Wax is self-inflicted (think Mel Gibson in What Women Want), with the possibility of further injury.

With that said, I have to admit that I have been one of those that has entered the torture chamber willingly, then stumbled away after the end of the process with my head held a little higher. Before my first, I did some research on the pain aspect. I was hoping that it wasn’t as bad as I’d been led to believe, so I interviewed past victims and spent some time with

I learned a few things.

1. As one friend put it, “I’m not gonna lie to you – it hurts.”

2. You can alleviate some of the pain by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever 30-45 minutes before the dreaded appointment. I’m not sure how much it actually helps, but I hang onto that thought as if it were the last under-eye concealer on earth.

3. The more you do it, the less painful it will become. (Why? Does the trauma finally just kill your nerve endings?)

Now here’s where the forgiveness aspect comes in. You see, my mind has a way of connecting random thoughts. It’s a stream-of-consciousness thing (the only thing I ever learned about Faulkner, by the way) – one thought will lead to another, then another, then another, and before you know it the first thought is so far removed from the last thought that they seem totally unrelated. And this can happen within the space of three seconds. I’m sure some of you relate. (Word of warning: don’t do this out loud or you’ll get the “Is she insane?” look from those around you. Believe me, I know.)

In one of my random thought trails, I began thinking that forgiveness is like a bikini wax. Sometimes the pain or hurt inflicted by others is so great that it feels like a physical effort to go through the process of forgiveness. But, if you keep at it, eventually it will become just a bit easier, which will then make it easier to forgive the next person that gives you the opportunity.

But then you get a Brazilian.

One of my sisters shared with me her experience in getting a little more waxed off than normal. She was laying on the table for the usual routine, in pain but still able to carry on a conversation with her attendant. Then the attendant asked her if she would like a little more taken off. My sister thought, sure, why not. I am woman, hear me roar.

She continued conversing until the ripping of the cloth strip from her poor defenseless body. So much pain shot through her that she sat straight up as a stream of profanity spewed from her mouth, sure that blood had been drawn.

No blood.

But only halfway done.

So she reluctantly laid back down, this time gripping the sides of the table like a seasoned veteran in the Beauty Wars as she assumed the position. She gave the now frightened attendant the go ahead to continue.

There wasn’t much conversation at this point.

But the degradation wasn’t over yet. After leaving the torture chamber, she had to endure the laughter of those sitting outside. She paid (heaping salt on the wound, so to speak), apologized for her Tourettes moment, and fled. Only to come across a couple more witnesses taking a smoke outside. More laughter. And a final escape to her car and complete retreat from the premises.

So I began to think, wow, forgiveness really is like a bikini wax. You think you have the forgiveness thing figured out, but then an “opportunity” for forgiveness that is so unexpected and painful comes flying at you, and you respond like you’d never learned the lesson to begin with. The offender rips the cloth of hurt, drawing things out of you that you didn’t even know were there. Which puts you in the position of both forgiver and the one asking for forgiveness for your un-Christlike response.

Because, after all, there is One that endured true torture to provide us with forgiveness. And He did it willingly. Without any sort of pain reliever. So if you’ve accepted the divine forgiveness provided by Jesus on the cross, you can be a forgiver, as well. It doesn’t require a lot of conversation. Just a willingness to lay down that pesky pride and assume the position of humble servant. And you don’t even have to pay – Jesus already paid the price. Then what seemed like the torture of forgiving becomes a way to have a clean heart. That’s a beauty regimen that I can go for.


Jennifer said...

I feel your pain! And mine too! You harkened the pain I experienced just a few days ago once again. I think you should tell Norma that she was inspiration for one of your blogs. :-)

Queen B said...

I totally get that. What a great word picture!! Though I probably won't share it in my couples' Bible study this week!!

It is getting close to bikini wax time, isn't it? I will never think of it quite the same...!

taralynn819 said...

Wow, now that's an attention getter! Try submitting that to Homelife magazine! :)

What also helps reduce the pain is to use the skin smoothing lotion from Jergens for a couple weeks before the wax (I think they are discontinued, though, because I can't find it anymore, but maybe you can). It makes the hair less coarse. I use it on my legs every day and it makes me feel less "prickly" on non-shaving days.