Friday, March 30, 2012

"Pretty Woman"

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.


Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.


In sorting through photos, I find one of me taken about thirty years ago.  What it is doing in this particular collection is a mystery.  What's not a mystery is how much I've aged.

I stare at the young, smiling face as if she is a stranger.  Is this really me?  Really?

Oh, what a difference three decades make!

I look in the mirror, searching for that young lady.  Do I see her?  Can I find her?

I gaze at the photo again, then back at the mirror.

I hear my mother's voice, "It's not what's on the outside, but on the inside that counts."

And, beauty is only skin deep . . .

I can't help but laugh at my own silly vanity.  Which, of course, accentuates every crinkle and wrinkle around my eyes.  My battles scars.  Purple Hearts.

For our bodies are but jars of clay.  Chipped and cracked with the passing of time.

Worn and weary vessels which will one day split and shatter.

And, free our souls from their earthly bondage . . .

I look at the young me.  Pretty on the outside.  Hurting, confused and lost on the inside.

For she had yet to accept Christ in her heart.

I look at the now me.  Aging on the outside.  Content, at peace, filled with love and conviction on the inside.

Because, Jesus is the Lord of my life.

And, I realize with a smile.

I'm not getting older.

I'm getting better . . .


 ~
What does the phrase "to age gracefully" mean to you?

Will you pray with me?
 As our bodies age, Father, help us to accept ourselves and others for who we and they are on the inside and not on the outside.  Let our inner beauty, the treasure You have given us, shine through to others no matter how old or how young they are.  Thank You for all the blessings of this life.  Amen.

Readings
Psalms 22 or 141, 143
Exodus 9:13-35
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Mark 10:32-45 

11 comments:

  1. Hi Martha:
    I can relate a bit to this column. In the past five or six years my emotional and spiritual life has improved dramatically. Oh I've always had an abundance of faith, however I've become a different peson after studying The Law of Attraction. It has made me more faithful, given me more spirit.

    With each year we age, we gain more wisdom. Besides, your age is just a number. It REALLY is how you feel on the inside.
    --
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Chris, it is so true that our age is just a number and we are what we feel inside. In that case, I am young, energetic, and filled with the Spirit! :)
      Everyday is an opportunity for us to grow in faith and wisdom.
      Thanks so much for stopping by today.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  2. Oh you know I love the passage you cited at the beginning~it's a song that reverberates in my mind (John Foley's "Earthen Vessels").

    I have not associated myself~ my body nor age with this passage and it's quite refreshing to look into it in a totally different angle :)

    I was truly excited hearing your post on beauty :) My friends and I were joking at our profile pics. I asked them if people will still befriend me if I put a monkey in there...sometimes, it all becomes so superficial.

    I wonder how people could see that light in you 'online' without meeting personally.

    I love the contrast you made of you then and now :) From there, I'd get the definition of aging gracefully ~ a fruit ripened by time, experience and continuous formation. I could just imagine every single cell in our body growing and gaining full access of life. I so love how God formed us.

    I pray with you. May God be able to use us, His vessels, to the fullest for His greater glory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Melissa, and leaving such a wonderful comment!
      So glad to know the scripture "reverberates" with you. I'm not familiar with this song, but will look it up.
      I, too, wonder what would be the reaction of others to one's profile pic being that of a monkey or any other creature for that matter. One would hope they would look at what you post as being infinitely more important than how you look. :)
      And I love your definition - "a fruit ripened by time, experience, and continuous formation". Says it perfectly!
      And, may we ever be faithful vessels, as you say, for His great glory.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  3. It is good to be young but, the real beauty is within you. It is the light within which reflects on the outside.
    Nice post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, Janaki, it's days like today when I'm having some back pain that I do wish I were young. :) However, as you said, true beauty is within us always and that is what counts in the long run.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  4. I look at old photographs and I see a younger me but you know what, I love who I've become and to hell with the looks...;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh my how I relate... when I turned 40 I felt the wrinkles & crinkles and fussed and fretted over finding the 'right' wrinkle cream ~I giggle a wee bit on the inside thinking about that... now two years later I'm feeling better on the inside; I'm feeling younger more spiritually fit and more alive than ever before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it amazing, Amy, how we go through these times of doubt with our outside appearance only to come to terms with the gorgeous person God has created within us? I, too, dabbled with the creams and the cure-alls; nope, they don't work and I'm so glad you are finding energy and well-being in the core of your soul!
      Thanks so much for stopping by with your wonderful comment!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  6. Wow...That was a really beautiful post. It's so true, regardless of the aesthetic beauty of the exterior it's within that is eternal. When that part of us is aligned with God and in an active relationship with Him joy and peace blossom, keeping the heart young.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Definitely, Jessica! We are only as old as we feel. And, when we are connected in relationship with our Lord, how can His ever-renewing, youthful love not shine through us despite what age displays on jars of clay?
    Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
    Blessings always!

    ReplyDelete

The Good and Perfect Gift

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shift...