Story by Marsha Jordan
I recently bought a big magnifying mirror… a lighted one, so that it is easier for me to see all that it reveals. It’s a very strong magnifying mirror that enlarges objects FIVE times their natural size. The first time I looked into it, I screamed in horror. I haven’t yet recovered totally from the shock of seeing all those wrinkles. In my dimly lit bathroom, with my poor vision, I have been able for a long time to live in that lovely la-la land of denial. I had deluded myself into believing that I still look pretty much like I did at 30. Well, hello… time to wake up and smell the Oil of Olay cream! Reality hit me right between my sagging eyes and ouch! That smarts. After looking in the mirror, now I think my driver’s license photo looks pretty good.
I appreciate the Bible verse in Proverbs 11 that says, “A kind hearted woman will gain respect,” because I’m smart enough to know that I can’t get by on my looks.
I used to joke about being old, but until now I didn’t REALLY believe that I was quickly approaching nursing home age. Apparently, I blinked and missed my prime. Now I’m over the hill and there is no escaping the undeniable and devastating fact that my youth is vanishing faster than the ozone layer is disintegrating and the rainforest is being depleted At this rate, my family will soon be calling me “prune face.” I looked up “puckered” in the dictionary and there was a photo of my face! I have not had enough time to prepare myself for being old, and as my five-year-old grandson often says, “I’m not very happy about this!”
And wrinkles aren’t the only revolting development. I’m not only turning into my grandmother, but I’m looking a lot like Grandpa Walton too, since I’ve sprouted whiskers! And my entire face is lower than it once was. Gravity has become my enemy and is pulling everything southward. Instead of aging like a fine wine, I feel more like milk going sour.
There are, however, two things for which I can thank God. One is that He doesn’t examine my sins and faults with a magnifying glass that illumines all the ugliness. If He did, it would be a sight even more hideous than the one that looks back at me from my mirror each morning. Instead, He is willing to remove my soul’s blemishes far from me and forget them forever. Oh, how I wish I had a magic mirror that could do that for my aging face!
Secondly, I’m grateful that nobody is ever too old to be used by God. No matter what my age, or how many thousands of wrinkles and gray hairs I have developed, there is always SOMETHING good I can do to help somebody. God has plans for each of us. He said (in Jeremiah 29:11) “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It’s good to know that we will never outgrow our usefulness. I used to know a lady who was rather negative. At the young age of 60, she was always bemoaning “I’m too old” for this or that. But nobody is ever too old to have hopes and dreams or to accomplish some pretty nifty things with God’s help. A friend of my dad’s is in her nineties and she recently rode a motorcycle for the first time to her great grandson’s birthday party! She’s one hip grandma! I hope I can be that adventurous at ninety (if I’m not in the home before then).
I’m living proof that God doesn’t just use the “young and beautiful people.” At 45, with poor vision and lots of physical ailments and handicaps, He led me to begin The HUGS and HOPE Club for Sick Kids… and look at all the good that He’s accomplished as a result. How cool is it that He uses little old me? He’ll use anyone who is willing and still breathing; and that includes you.
Open those wrinkled, droopy eyelids of yours and take a gander at the world around you. No matter what your age, you are younger than someone somewhere and you’ll see loads of things you can do. Get your pruney face and your varicose veins out there and get going!
And by the way, if you have a magnifying mirror, do what I’m going to do. Toss it into the dumpster or give it away. There are better things than wrinkles for us to focus on.