Jun 062007

This article is shared by Marsha Jordan

I recently bought a magnifying mirror . . . a big, lighted magnifying mirror that makes it impossible for me to ignore all my face’s imperfections. The unreasonable clerk who sold me the mirror wouldn’t let me return it. She said not liking what I saw in it wasn’t reason enough to get my money back.

Mirrors like this one should be illegal. It enlarges objects seven times their natural size. The thing is a health hazard. When I looked into it, I screamed in horror, then hyperventilated, passed out, and hit my head on the bathroom sink. I needed CPR to be resuscitated, and I think some of my brains might have been flushed down the toilet. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from discovering that my cheeks have pleats. (gasp!) The whole nasty experience plunged me into a state of third-degree, age-related depression.

All this time, I’ve been living in that lovely la-la-land of denial. I had fooled myself into believing that I still looked twenty-nine. Mother Nature played a cruel joke on me. Time to wake up and smell the extra-strength age spot remover. Reality hit me right between my puffy, sagging eyelids. Ouch! That smarts.

My laugh lines are no laughing matter, now that they’re buried deep within my saggy cheeks. The only advantage is that I can finally say I have cleavage, even if it IS on my face. The black bags under my eyes are bigger than my feet. They’re helping to save the forests, though. I carry groceries in them, rather than using the paper sacks at the grocery store.

I look like a puckered pile of flab and wrinkles with whiskers. When my husband calls me “pet,” it’s because my drooping jowls make me look like Cousin Delmont’s old coon dog Otis, and my flabby neck jiggles like a Tom turkey’s. My cheeks sag lower each day, like melting blobs of raspberry ripple ice cream. I’m afraid I’ll awake some morning to discover that my face has slid down around my waist.

The dermatologist made my day when he called the dark patches on my cheeks “old age barnacles.” I must look like a sunken ship. I asked him if plaster of paris might help, but instead he suggested that I have my face “resurfaced.” So now I’m a well-traveled, worn out road? I must admit that my face does sort of look like a truck ran over it.

Wrinkles aren’t the only revolting development that’s got me down. It’s bad enough that I’ve turned into grandma Moses, but I’m looking a lot like Grandpa Walton too. I’ve sprouted a beard and mustache, and my whole face is lower than it used to be. Yesterday, my husband called me “floppy cheeks,” and I don’t think he meant it as a term of endearment. I no longer count gravity among my friends. It’s pulling everything southward, and parts that once were perky are now in danger of being stepped on and often get road rash from dragging on the pavement.

I’ve placed my youth on the endangered species list. It’s evaporating faster than spit on a hot griddle. Instead of aging like a fine wine, I’m afraid I’m more like moldy cheese or curdled 2% milk. As my six-year-old grandson says, “I’m not happy about this.”

You can understand why I appreciate the Bible verse in Proverbs 11, which says, “A kind hearted woman will gain respect.” I’m relieved, because I know I can’t get by on my good looks. I hope people find my heart more pleasing to behold than the rest of me.

I don’t even know Grace, and I don’t want to grow old with her, but I’ve found at least two things for which old timers can be thankful:

1) For those who love and obey Him, God does not examine faults with a magnifying glass. If He did, it would be a sight even more grotesque than the one staring back at me from my mirror. Instead, God is willing to remove each soul’s blemishes and forget them forever. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

2) Secondly, 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, there is always something good I can do. God has plans for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11 says: “’I know the plans I have for you, ‘declares the Lord, . . . to give you hope and a future.’” We always have a place in God’s scheme of things, even if one foot is in the rest home. We can’t outgrow our usefulness and no one’s ever too old to have hopes and dreams or to accomplish some pretty nifty things with God’s help. I heard of one hip grandma who rode a motorcycle on her ninetieth birthday. That sure beats staring at the wall from a rocking chair in a puddle of drool.

God doesn’t just use young and beautiful people.

In fact, I would guess that He can probably more often use older folks who have gained experience and learned the lessons that come only from making mistakes. How cool is it that He can work through anyone, wrinkles, age spots, and all? He’ll use anybody, as long as they meet two requirements: A: they are willing, and B: they’re still breathing.

That includes you. So open those wrinkled, baggy eyelids of yours and take a gander at the world around you. Forget your age. You will always be younger than someone somewhere. If you look, you’ll see loads of things you can do. Get your pruney face and your varicose veins out there and get busy!

And by the way, if you have a magnifying mirror, toss it into the dumpster or give it to a young person. We have better things than wrinkles to focus on.

Marsha Jordan

Marsha Jordan created The HUGS and HOPE Foundation for Critically Ill Children. Her humorous, inspirational book, ‘Hugs, Hope, and Peanut Butter’ is illustrated by sick kids; and profits from the book’ sale benefit children around the country. You may learn more about Jordan, her book, and the charity she founded by visiting her web site at www.hugsandhope.org/mj.htm
 Posted by at 15:35

  2 Responses to “Magnifying Mirror”

  1. Check this out: a video of “The Zimmers” at: YouTube

    “The Zimmers are a British band, and thought to have the oldest members in the world: the lead singer, Alf, is 90, and the oldest member, Buster, is 100. They take their name from the Zimmer frame (the British name for a walking frame).” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zimmers

  2. Yeah, I saw the documentary on telly the other night. They’re great!

    Thanks, Stan.

    Love EJ