Restoring What the Pink Locusts Have Eaten

 Written by The Scribbler

Locusts are relentless creatures – they eat and eat and never seem to be satisfied. I mean, I thought I could put a good hurting on bacon and all things coconut, but these little guys put me to shame.

According to Charles R. Bomar, in his article, “The Rocky Mountain Locust: Extinction and the American Experience,” all the earth’s a buffet for Nature’s Little Winged Billy Goats: “They devoured everything from barley and buckwheat to spruce and tobacco. The locusts even ate blankets that women put over the crops to protect them. A few records report the locusts eating fence posts, leather, dead animals, and sheep wool. Cannibalism was also observed.”

Today I want to share with you an interesting breakdown of a verse that you may or may not be familiar with. (And don’t worry if you’re not into Bible verses. There’s a message in this post for you anyway.) The verse comes to us courtesy of the Book of Joel, chapter 2, verse 25:

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”

When I first read this verse, I pondered how many thousands upon thousands of women have had years eaten by Mary Kay – The Pink Locust. How many women have spent every waking minute with their pink antennae raised, constantly looking for sharp women “who need me…who need the Mary Kay Opportunity?” How many women will regret the lost years that would have been better spent towards a worthier cause, such as family or the downtrodden? How many more years will it take before a woman wakes up one morning and realizes that Mary Kay has sucked her dry of everything but the drive to have her name associated with a green gemstone or a faux royal title?

Let’s take another look at the text verse; it appears to address four different types of insects: the locust, the cankerworm, the caterpillar, and the palmerworm. After a hot and heavy run-in with Strong’s Concordance, however, I discovered that each of these insects goes by a different Hebrew word. Remarkably, the verse does not refer to four different species of insect, but rather the same insect in four different stages of growth! Check it out:

1. Cankerworm: (a young locust – “yelek”) This one can only eat soft plant matter.

2. Caterpillar: (A locust not yet winged – “chaciyl”) Growing larger, this fellow guy is looking to expand his menu choices!

3. Palmerworm: (A creeping locust – “gazam”) Now having small wings and crushing jaws, he goes for meatier things, like tree branches.

4. Locust: (a devouring insect – “arbeh”) Now fully grown, it’s time to concentrate on the vital things: reproducing!

Keeping that information in mind, may I show you how Mary Kay fully embodies the behavior patterns and habits of this destructive creature – how it may have tore (or currently is tearing) through your years? I think you’ll be amazed (if not feeling a bit queasy) at the parallels.

Mary Kay initially works its way into a woman’s life as a small cankerworm, nibbling away at a woman’s emotional vegetation.
You didn’t feel the nibble, of course; as your senses were caught up in a dizzying pink hurricane of shiny things and empowerment galore! Remember the dizzying glee of your first unit meeting – the music, the hugs, the leaping up and down in heels like stilt walkers drunk on espresso? What about the unit chant? “Whatcha say, whatcha think, step off, fool, my blood runs pink!” (Ironically, one of the signs of heart failure is coughing up mucus tinged with pink blood – as Ace Ventura would say, “Allllrightythen!”)

As one grows in MK’s doctrine, that cankerworm morphs into a caterpillar with a taste for something more: “Man, all I need are two hot Emeralds and that Saturn is mine!” Or, “I need to finish strong this month; I’ll just charge it on hubby’s card; better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission!” Perhaps you’ve heard yourself say one too many times, “Just one more, just five more, just ten more and then things will get easier; then I can rest.” And yet, the rest you seek never fully comes.

The sight of NSDs parading about in their Liberace-inspired suits at Seminar only serves to whet your appetite even further. You want the coveted position of NSD and sister, nothing is going to stand in your way – husband, children, your Dachsund. Come to think of it, that lazy cur is going to go inactive next month if he doesn’t hurry up and place an order soon, doggone it.

Next thing you know, the MK palmerworm has appeared, chewing forcefully on your sense of morality as well as your conscience. With scissor-like jaws it cuts through everything good that you once stood for. The palmerworm refuses to be satisfied; sure, you crossed the stage at Seminar, but we can’t rest on our laurels now, can we? You’ve got to do DIQ and you have got to do it NOW. If Dacia can do it, you can too – you’ve got her e-mail pasted onto your goal poster, right? “At the end of June He (referring to Mary Kay’s highly exalted god of mammon) will want you to account for yourself. Seminar is the place where He can nod his head and say, “you’ve done well.” Or can you see Him shaking his head in disappointment…again?” Ever onward munches the Mary Kay palmerworm – until you make Director.

Congratulations, new Director Exhausted McBroke – you’re now guiding the actions of your downline. And since the actions of your downline are directly related to whether or not you’re driving a pink piece of machinery next quarter, ambition drives you to push for more star orders, more stretching, and more warm chatter. Every day brings a new kicky half-truth to slip around the necks of the innocent like a thorny loop of barbed wire. Mary Kay is now a full-fledged locust in your life, and it’s ready to do some reproducing:

“Who here would enjoy doing what I do?” (exasperated sigh) “Yes, what is it, Red Jacket Thorton? What do you mean, “You’re having trouble?” So what if you have eight consultants living within 100 yards of you – where’s your bee-lief? Wipe your face, put on your big girl panties, get on that stinking phone, and don’t you dare show your face at the next unit meeting until you’ve signed on five women. And they better be so sharp that when they fart, geological faults are birthed.”

Beloved, I don’t know what kind of damage Mary Kay has wreaked in your life. You may have been in a week, a year, or for decades. You may be debating what do to next. You might be a director that’s praying for a miracle. You may even be an NSD reading this – thinking, “There’s no way I could ever turn back from this path; I’ve walked it for years. Besides, leaving it all behind would make me a hypocrite.” Woman, doing what is right after having done the opposite for so long is not hypocrisy; it’s called “learning.” Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear and will increase learning.” If you’re learning, you are wise, indeed.

Are you ready for some great news?
There is hope, and not a small amount, either! God has promised that he will restore the years that the locust hath eaten! Did you know that the word “restore” here translates to “to be whole, to be sound, to be safe?” Let’s face it; doesn’t that sound like what your life was like before you signed that Consultant Agreement? Doesn’t it blow your mind that God isn’t saying, “It’s your fault, sweet-cheeks; nobody put a gun to your head!” but rather, “Despite what’s happened, your experiences will not only enable you to bless and encourage others, but I will restore what you thought was forever lost?” Shucks, folks; I’m speechless!

Today, I encourage you to take back the peace you once had by leaning on the One who has the power to bring it.

3 Comments

  1. BestDecision

    Being a Director with Offspring made me realize that resigning was going to make me look like a hypocrite. These were the same women I’d talked about “executive income” and “part time effort for full time pay” with. I knew I’d be gossiped about, and I knew lies would start to roll around because no one would want to admit why a person in my place and at my level would quit.

    But, something greater was going on with me inside, and I had less fear of all that than I did of continuing down the same stressful, weak road I had been on for over a decade. I was tired of warm chatting. I was exhausted of trying to keep Consultants’ spirits up. I was becoming bitter that I was giving up 1 night a week and often Saturday’s and Sunday’s away from my family and friends to hold well-planned events that fewer and fewer Consultants would show up to. I was irritated that we were having the same repeat guests, yet they wouldn’t sign. I was growing angry that every CD I had in my car wasn’t giving me the same results as those speakers.

    Pam Shaw once cried as she described the night she planned for, dressed for, only to arrive and wait and wait and wait for people to show up at her unit meeting. No one came. An NSD STILL having such strong emotions over that? That told me a lot. Directorship was brutal, and it would carry past my NSD debut IF I made it that far. She also talked, as did Kathy Helou, how they hit a slump just before and just after becoming NSDs, doubting whether they really wanted to be one or go into a different profession.

    I’d much rather own up to my mistakes than walk around being fake, stressed, or dreading the next event. Glad I’m out now!

  2. onelessSD

    Well said Scribbler! You nailed this one on the head … dead on accuracy. The locust (all 4 stages) is exactly what being in MK is like. I am so glad that I finally saw the light after 16 years of constant pushing and pursuing and to be able to turn the other way. I can only speak from my own experience, so let me just share that with you:
    1. Physically: During MK I was younger, so my health was fairly good- but the constant stress, terrible diet (event foods, on the run food, scrambling to put something on the table fast food… you get the picture- not nutritionally healthy stuff) was taking it’s toll. I didn’t exercise regularly.. because I was always thinking of what I needed to do work-wise. After I left directorship a few years – I was diagnosed with cancer. I made the decision to change a lot of what I was doing to get healthier, i.e., learned how to cook healthier, ate out less (much less!), started an exercise program, and de-stressed my life as much as I could. I’m doing better now.. but it will always be a journey for me as I learn new strategies to keep me healthier.

    2. Emotionally: While in MK = I was a wreck. The constant comparing of myself to others was nerve-wracking. The constant striving for a better month, to meet goals, etc. was draining. The constant push to keep people moving and working- constant craziness. I used to consider myself to be a fairly confident person- but my self esteem took a hit due to my involvement with MK. After leaving- it’s taking time to get my self esteem and confidence back to where it used to be, but it’s getting there. I realize now that my worth is found in things like my faith (God loves me and made me unique), my family (in spite of my many flaws, they love me!), my friends (my true friends) regardless of what I do for work, etc.. they love me. My career choice is just that- a way for me to help my family financially – it’s not my end-all. Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy what I do now outside of MK, but it doesn’t define me like MK used to. My clients love me and the work I do for them, but in the end- it’s a job.

    3. Spiritually: While in MK – on the surface- the things I did “looked” good, but in reality I was spiritually bankrupt. Since being out- I’ve made this more of a priority in my life and it’s always a journey to do this, but it’s worth pursuing and I’m in a much better place as a result.

    I really appreciate you Scrib for writing this piece, as it just describes my journey in and out of MK. I also see how the Lord is restoring different things in my life- the things that really count… and keeping me from the things that don’t. I’m grateful to God for the blessings He’s given me and what He has restored in my life today.

  3. Lazy Gardens

    I had always seen “palmerworm” translated as “armyworm” (familiar to anyone who lives near cotton fields or corn fields).

    … when you have hordes of caterpillars marching relentlessly though the streets, eating everything they can find.

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