Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Does this happen to anyone else my age? Your face changes overnight. I mean literally overnight. You wake up in the morning and find something that you swear wasn't there the night before when you wiped off your mascara.

Last week it was a pointy skin tag perched on the top of my cheekbone just under my left eye. At first I thought it was the start of a zit. I find a pair of cheaters and hold up a mirror, the magnifier side towards my face. Magnified, the thing looks like a nipple.

I'm grossed out, but intrigued. How does something like this come out of nowhere? The bad thing is that unlike a zit when you're a teenager, the thing isn't going away. When you're 50, whatever grows on your face stays on your face.

I'm tempted to snip it off with a fingernail clipper, but that seems kind of messy not to mention bloody painful.

I've tried covering it up with makeup. Doesn't work. It's like a beacon. I can sense it's there and catch glimpses of it even when I'm staring straight ahead.

But then it's not just the skin tags I've been accruing. I have this wrinkly thing going on under my chin that bothers me. I can still see my great grandma's sizeable turkey waddle. You could grab hold of it with both hands and swing.  When she talked, it quivered. I'm wondering if my neck is going to look that way in a few years. (Okay, Great Grandma Johnson was 90 when she died, so maybe it'll take more than a few years. And, by then I won't care.)

I pull my neck skin taut to see what I'd look like with a neck lift. Huh. I wonder if I could get insurance to pay for the lift. I could make a case that it's a medical necessity. The loose skin could get caught in a zipper or something. I might hang myself. 

Just for fun, I Google "face lifts." The search produces some fascinating results in a train-wreck sort of way.

Amazing what people do to hang onto the face they had 20 years ago. Mostly they end up looking really, really silly, if not downright scary. I won't mention any names; but you've seen the celebs with swollen lips and eyebrows pulled up to their hairlines. When does that trout pout ever look good? They resemble Joker on Batman.

Anyway, I feel sorry for these folks. They don't even look like themselves. It's sad. How defeating that in the quest to look young they become icons for plastic surgery gone bad. It all seems so tragic and empty to be consumed with the outward appearance.

A few verses come to mind:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NLT)

But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.  (1 Peter 3:4 ESV)

So, I have some lumps, bumps and some saggy skin. So, what? I'll be getting more. But I can have a certain kind of beauty that isn't going away, in fact, that becomes deeper with age--imperishable.

I've had a few women in my life who have aged with that kind of grace and beauty. My friend, Marcie, who remained radiant even as she encouraged others bedside as she was dying of cancer. My mom, who just lost her husband of almost 60 years, and still has a zeal for life that is contagious. Her beauty as a young woman is legend. She still is beautiful. Joanne, a lovely lady with gorgeous snow-white hair, who greets people at the church door with a huge smile and a warm, tight hug.

All of these ladies have one thing in common. God has done a graceful work in their lives as they have spent time in His word and allowed His transformation in their hearts. They are a testimony of growing more beautiful with age.

I hope to be like them. God continues His major overhaul on my heart. I'm getting there. But just so you know, I'm not going to feel bad about doing a little snip-snip on that nasty bugger under my eye. I'm also not wearing any hoodies with zippers.



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