Posted by: karanoel | August 16, 2013

The eye of the beholder

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Cor 4:16

Happy old guyI love getting older. I absolutely love it. I would not go back one day or a decade if I had the chance. It’s not just that life was hard and miserable way back when. Or even that things are so good now. It’s that in between the “then” and the “now,” even between yesterday and today, I’ve gotten to do life with the Lord. It’s been messy and I’ve often taken the long, stubborn route to learning things, but the process has yielded a friendship that I treasure more than anything – even a second chance at doing things better.

What is bugging me, though, is what aging looks like on the outside. I am repelled by the lines branching out from my eyes like crazed lightning, and the deepening creases on my forehead that seem to live a life of their own. Nor am I too keen on the wild gray hairs that defy both gravity and decorum, refusing to lay nicely with the blond(ish) ones. I find myself standing further away from the mirror each year, thinking – like a small child – that if I can’t see it, it isn’t there.

When I was pouting to John the other day, he jokingly asked me if I wanted my face lasered (is that even a thing?). Yes, I want my skin to have the resilient spring of a brand new trampoline. And, yes, I would like to see certain body parts raised up from the grave to resume life where they began their journey. But I am much more interested in having my mind lasered (by truth, that is) so that my entire perception is forever purged of these shallow, critical, lifeless observations.

If beauty is indeed in the eyes of the beholder, things are looking good for me! My creator sees through piercingly pure vision, with each glance beholding the beauty he created in me. His vision can’t be touched by a single thing this world considers an imperfection. I am, after all, a reflection of his perfection. It is the truth of who I am, which as Graham Cooke puts it, goes way beyond what may be “true” about me – like wrinkles, varicose veins, or sagging body parts. So all I have to do is start seeing like he does, beholding myself and others through his unyielding love.

But it isn’t always easy to believe what the Lord sees over the aging process unfolding in the mirror, or to listen to his quiet voice over what is shouted at me in Orange County, this ever-so-slightly vain place in which I live. It takes trust. But this wonderful God has been with me to hell and back. Our ties run deep. What he has told me has always been true. So I’m going to trust. And I’m going to be free. So get ready to go deep, you laugh lines!


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