As I scoured my computer for the perfect photo of my mom on this Mother’s Day, I found many pictures, some old and some new. Having a hard time choosing between one from her youth or one more recent, I decided to create a “then and now” and was quite happy with the results. I actually had a hard time taking my eyes off of the pictures, giving credence to the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Actually, I think a picture—at least these two pictures—are worth more than a thousand words. In fact, I’m not sure there would be enough ink and paper on the planet to do them justice. On the left, a beautiful young woman looked bright-eyed and full of hope. I felt pride in how radiant and striking the woman, who would eventually become my mom, was; and I totally get why our society gets so hung up on youth and beauty. But, then my eyes were drawn, almost as if pulled by gravity, to the more recent photo. Although I just saw my mom in person yesterday, I couldn’t seem to get enough of this hastily made snapshot in time.
Studying the photo closely, I quickly decided that this is the definition of true beauty. Sure, her face dons a few lines now, but today as I looked more closely at those lines—those tattoos of aging that I have come to despise as they begin taking up residence on my own face—I saw something different. Oh the stories that lay between these ever-so-gentle wrinkles in time; the love that bloomed and grew; the happy times that made us smile and the sad times that made us cry; the joy that lit up our days and the pain that sometimes seemed too much to bear, all of which our amazing God masterfully blended together into a most beautiful life. Yes, today, on this sunny Sunday morning—Mother’s Day 2015—I finally see what true beauty actually is and it’s not in trying to look young at all costs. It’s understanding that—when we let our lives and our faces be His canvas—true beauty actually grows as we get older. Look at my mom! Isn’t she simply gorgeous?! Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mom and to all the women so wonderfully and skillfully made by God. Amen and Ehmen!
And our Father in Heaven says…
Proverbs 16:31 ESV
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
Proverbs 20:29 ESV
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.