Friday’s Column: Brent’s Bent
Saudi Arabia hosts an annual beauty contest for camels with a multimillion-dollar prize. This year’s King Abdulaziz Camel Festival reward is $66 million (USD). As extravagant as this prize sounds to Westerners, camels are an established multimillion-dollar industry in Saudi Arabia and a fixture of Bedouin culture. To determine a winner, judges evaluate the camelid’s posture, humps, necks, and head shapes. And, since so much is at stake in these contests, officials ban cosmetic alterations that beautify camels.
Sky News’ Amar Mehta reports that officials have, this year, disqualified over 40 entries in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival for Botox use. This number is an increase from the 12 Botox-injected camels disqualified in 2018. Since officials look for such cheaters and impose strict penalties on the same, why would anyone take the risk? If I were to guess, I would say that cheaters would cite 66 million reasons. If no one finds the deception, he can increase his bank account and reputation.
As you recollect, Jesus selected a man as an apostle who was as sneaky as a Botox-injecting camel breeder. John wrote of this apostle in his Gospel. This apostle’s name was Judas. When Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with costly oil, Judas rebuked Mary for “wasting” something considered valuable. Then, Judas declared that they should have sold Mary’s oil and used the proceeds to enrich the poor. But John reveals Judas’ heart. “Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it” (John 12.6 NASB1995).
In like manner, why do any think they can fool the God Who sees our hearts? The Hebrews’ writer reminds us, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (4.13 NASB1995). It may be that we can fool the eyes of our fellow man who likewise awaits judgment, but our Judge will reveal all our deeds, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12.14).
Yes, God sees the Botox, fillers, and other tricks we use to look good on the outside. So then, “let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10.22-23 NASB1995).
Mehta, Amar. “Camels Banned from Saudi Arabia Beauty Contest after Being Found to Have Had Facelifts and Botox.” Sky News, Sky, 8 Dec. 2021, news.sky.com/story/camels-banned-from-saudi-arabia-beauty-contest-after-being-found-to-have-had-facelifts-and-botox-12489956.