As a young woman with little past and a whole future ahead of her I would look in the mirror at my face. I would see a face clear and unlined, unblemished and beautiful. A blank canvas untouched by time and experience.
This beauty, like a veil, partially concealed the woman. Blurring the stubbornness and pride, hurt and anger, wounds and weakness, the anxiety and fear of an empty life.
Now as an older woman, no longer young or even middle aged, I look in the mirror at my face; I see a woman with more past to remember than future to live. I see a face with lines and wrinkles and age spots, a fading beauty. A face with history written there on the canvas. A history of pleasure and pain, love and laughter and suffering and sorrow, a history of happiness and heartbreak.
Still with a veil. But the veil of fading beauty is more transparent than opaque. The woman behind this veil is now more visible. She is softer and kinder, healed and contented, scarred and strong, mellow and secure in a life of grace.
There is freedom in looking in the mirror and seeing this fading beauty. For as the outward beauty is becoming a memory inner beauty is becoming the future. A future of life lived in the presence of the Lord’s beauty.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16
Is it not a wonder that as outwardly we fade and fail, weaken and die, inwardly His Spirit remains blossoming and strong, vital and eternal?