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by Francie Snell
9/08/2015 / Humor
I asked the strange woman in the mirror, "Who are you and what have you done with her?"
Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but when I gaze at my reflection these days, I am surprised to see a different, more mature woman, and not so attractive.
I wonder what's happening to me as I investigate the line on my face that I swear wasn't there the day before. Is that a scar? When did I do that? Where did all these wrinkles come from? So, THAT'S what they mean by "chicken neck".
I sigh as I look back to my younger years when compliments on the way I looked were never in short supply. I cleaned up well when I put the effort into it. Oh, the time I spent in makeup application.
Now, I don't invest so much time in trying to achieve such a lofty goal as having a pleasing appearance. I figure it would take the imagination, patience, and artistic abilities of Leonardo da Vinci to pull that one off. My expectations are much lower now. Just having clean skin gives me a great feeling of contentment.
I remember well the first incident that suggested my beauty was migrating, signaling my right of passage into the world of senior discounts. It was in the checkout line at a local grocery store when I received the first devastating blow.
That day, I donned my baseball cap and a loose fitting t-shirt for the trip to the store. I had always considered it youthful apparel, somewhat of a disguise that shaved off a few years from my aging appearance.
The checker was a woman I guessed to be in her sixties. After scanning my items and announcing the total, she then said in a happy, sing-song way, "It's ten percent discount Thursday!"
She looked at me with glee in her eyes as if I knew what she was talking about and shared in her enthusiasm.
But, I didn't. I was puzzled since I had never heard of such a thing. I wondered what the special occasion was that the store would be so generous to give everyone ten percent off their grocery bills. The thought excited me, but I had to make sure I understood correctly. "I get a ten percent discount?"
"Yes," she said cheerfully, "All seniors get a ten percent discount at our store on Thursdays", as if it was common knowledge. She then eyed me quizzically and spoke slowly, "You do qualify for the senior discount, don't you? "
I felt I had been seriously wounded and was going into shock. With the same slow rhythm in speech, I responded with the only thing I could mutter, "Nooo, not yet."
Everything in me wanted to defend my position of still being in my forties. How on earth could she guess me at being older than I am? Apparently, the baseball cap and t-shirt weren't working for me.
I scoffed to myself, A woman of her age should have a more discerning eye or at least more tact with what she says. Her erroneous assumption was not appreciated. The kind and helpful woman had become my antagonist.
The time of unintended insults had commenced. Now, more often than I like, I am asked by new acquaintances if I am retired. I bristle at the question and try to shake it off. Come on, maybe the tired part is accurate but RETIRED? Is this a joke or am I really looking that old? I trudge back to the mirror and look again, and try to accept the truth.
Longingly, I scan the horizon of new technologies with hopes that someday the cosmetic industry will create a foundation with the masking capabilities of spackle and the pliability of thin rubber. That miracle combination would not only hide wrinkles but would allow me to smile without cracking my face.
I consider the familiar saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and wonder if it all just boils down to personal opinion. I ask the Lord what He thinks. In His tender mercies, He reminds me again of some of the many wondrous ways He works in those who belong to Him.
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
He is the master sculptor, the master painter, the divine artist making us into the image of Christ. He sees our beauty and knows it well as He creates in us something far more exquisite than we can even imagine. As He shapes our character through our every experience, know for sure that He doesn't let anything go to waste.
"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." Psalm139:14 (NKJV)
We see with our eyes the here and now, but His perception is much deeper and broader, reaching to the day of completion. "...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ"
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
So, if you see the body's outward appeal fading and no longer a pleasing reflection in the mirror, do not despair. This is only temporary. Those wrinkles and lines are the evidence of a gift given to us to live, to breathe, to travel the precious road of life.
Our visual appeal will be back someday, and better than before. Our new bodies will be glorified with Christ, no lines, no wrinkles, and no need to diet.
We might not look good to ourselves on the outside, but we sure look good to Him
"For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
Francie lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California with her husband and best friend. She loves the gift of life the Lord has given her and has a passion to write about it... for His glory.
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