I realised in early adolescence I was not to be one of those beautiful types with delicate bones, perfect features and bushels of shining curls. While I looked reasonably OK, my too round face and slightly saggy chin ruled out any such notions.
My self-perception, regarding looks, later became very confused. I was told often I was beautiful, but photos always brought me back to reality. Mirrors were the most confusing of all, a casual glance might depict me as surprisingly beautiful or jarringly ugly. It’s only in my latter years I’ve come to understand. You see it’s Jesus coming through, lighting up my plain face that transforms it – beauty of a different kind.
If I was naturally beautiful it wouldn’t be so noticeable. What is so nice about “my realisation” is it means anyone can be beautiful regardless of their actual physical appearance. How many times have you seen a plain (even ugly) person transform into beauty when they fall in love? I’ve seen it often, love itself, being a part of God, transforms. Not only that but this kind of beauty doesn’t fade, has no need of creams and face lifts (in fact these things tend to reduce it). If anything, it grows more apparent with age. So, if like me you don’t rate high on the physical looks scale, remember God’s love makes us all beautiful!
I chose this recent photo from my daughter’s 40th birthday party as somewhat of an example. My kids got so many compliments of how young and beautiful their mother was, some even commented directly. It all depends on how you look at the photo you see, the round face and “turtle effect” saggy chin are there, but I think the photo also caught something else. The couple I was talking to were wonderful people who I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with (as were many at the event). Forgetting my less than perfect self among such a glittering assortment of good looks I was fully engaged in conversation with them.
Noticing the same effect in others, when happily relaxed with friends, or simply in love, I’ve termed a phrase, “their light’s come on”. Even more wonderful we can turn on other’s lights by sharing love, especially God’s love. Though I’d have liked to be beautiful I’m thankful God made me the way I am so I could understand this. There are no “ugly” or “plain” people in God’s eyes, because He loves us all. He even chose that kind of body for Himself – “there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isiah 53:2).
The face was old and wrinkled,
But the eyes were still the same.
They still retained the twinkle
She’d seen upon that day.
Some things there’s no erasing
Though the years may flood on by,
The flesh may see corruption
But the spirit never die.
Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress.
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
We all have our days when we feel old, even twenty something spring chickens! However when you pass the 60 something turnpike it becomes reality that your body, no matter how well maintained, starts to sag and wilt at some of the things your energized mind conceives.
There are three paths.
1)Fight it and be in denial – get face lifts, try every supposed miracle health cure, where inappropriate clothing etc.
2) Alternatively you could throw in the towel sit back in your armchair and turn on the TV.
3)For me the other course seems better, embrace the beauty of each age. Not trying to be something you are not (young)but still living life to the full. Tapping into the wisdom and maturity you’ve hopefully gained along the way, remembering, though glorious in summer, the true strength and beauty of a tree is not truly visible till winter.
I don’t know how it came about
It slowly crept on me.
This comfi cozy feeling
Of sofa, bed and tea.
It came upon me slowly
Just take a break it said,
“Rest a while, you’ve done enough”
Resounded in my head.
And so I took it easy
As my life began to dim
I’m getting older gracefully
I said to doubts within.
I lost my sense of purpose
The thing that egged me on
‘f I’d continued with my dozing
My life would soon be gone.
As so this year I’ve promised
Something to myself,
If I think a thing I do it
Not put it on the shelf
To come back to it later
While the time is passing by
There’s so many other options
to do before I die.
Someone once said if you want to change your life start with you. I’d go one step further, when we change our perspective we change ourselves and our world. So much is in how we perceive things. If you think you’ll fail you probably will, and vice versa.
I heard a very inspired young man yesterday trying to express how he came to understand from certain verses that we are in God’s image, that our value comes from Him, and how realizing that gave him faith to pray for the sick.
I love to see young people inspired particularly, as in this instance, to be a channel for God’s healing power etc. My friends and I listening were in our sixties, had been through the lumps and bumps of life. We could have smothered his fire in “wisdom” and “experience” but no one did. He doesn’t need our perspectives, perhaps we need his (or a measure of the two). I remember when I too saw life as the great adventure with no impossibilities. Bathed in the knowledge of God’s love I feared nothing.
Now with age and responsibility comes caution, limitations, but in my heart of hearts I know these things to be illusions. Nothing is impossible if you can just believe it so (though some thing take longer to come to pass lol!) We warmed our hearts at his fire, remembering, but saying nothing of our own exploits content to enjoy the brilliance of his joyful flame of life.
Perhaps you are like me? I have a bad memory so “post its” and their occupying “to do” lists are ever with me and have been close companions for many years.
Yesterday however tired of the never ending little pink or yellow lists always at my elbow at my lap top, I decided instead to make my first ever “done list”. As I breezed through the day I jotted down relevant items I completed (leaving out the obvious, brush teeth, eat breakfast etc.) By mid day I was amazed at all I’d packed in (It was an average day, I didn’t make a special effort or anything). My perception of myself changed. I’d for a long while pictured myself as kind of lazy, as age took its toll. A glance at my list totally eradicated that notion! It was renewing! Why not give it a go?
Here’s my morning list (love to see yours too).
- Chill time to pray and meditate on God’s word (always a first on my list).
- Edited and posted a new flash fiction story on my blog.
- Wrote another section of my book.
- Picked up shopping and checked for movie tickets for a grandson treat.
- Picked vegetables at my allotment.
- Walked around the lake (about two miles).
- Made a healthy lunch.
- (My afternoon wasn’t as busy (I’m a morning person and take a rest in the early afternoon – a habit from living in the tropics) but it also had a few more items to add.