Maps on Our Faces

      I always wonder what my appearance will like be if I make it to old age.  I gaze at pictures of my grandmother and mother and see how their looks have progressed since their youth. I look at pictures of my dad and wonder what he would have looked like if he lived longer.  More so, I wonder what he looks like now in his glorified body. I even look at pictures of myself and see how differently I look at this stage in life compared to my first years. I can’t imagine what I’ll look like by age 50 if I live that long. I just wonder. What differences will appear on my face?
     Each year when the ball drops, it seems like it’ll be ages before the next year. By March or so, I start to realize that summer will soon approach. By September, I eagerly await October- my favorite month of the year. I always fool myself into thinking it’ll last a long time since it has 31 days and all. But, the next thing I know, it’s the most bittersweet month of my year, November. It makes me think back nine years to this very day, November 7th, when my Dad went to Heaven. I dread this day every year. I hate the mark of sorrow this day has on it, because we already experienced so much of that while watching his earthly shell be eaten by cancer. That’s at the beginning of the month. At the end of the month, though, just as sure as God’s promises that He’s faithful and that joy comes in the morning, Thanksgiving comes and I reflect all the more on what I’m grateful for- salvation, restoration for that which was once broken, and ultimate healing. Suddenly, November seems like a great month after all because it’s packed with gratitude, family, friends, and eager anticipation for Christmas. The excitement in the air for our family at least is in celebration of the presence of Christ in this world. That’s a great note to end a year on…just before we start it all over again and face whatever may come in the next 365 days.
     Without those moments of joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, and sickness and health through the years, our faces would not be nearly as well defined. They would be untruthful masks to our inward imperfections. They would lack the beautifully weathered look of character.  The lines on our faces offer evidence to a journey’s map with streams of refreshment, deserts, deep valleys, vast oceans, long roads, and steep mountains we have passed. The legend of the map can be seen through the window of our eyes either by the dark emptiness that we possess from birth or from the Light of the World that we eventually invite inside. All in all, that’s how our appearance slowly morphs as we continue on this journey. Along the way, our appearance changes, whether drastically or subtly and moves us just a little closer to what we’ll look like at the sunset of this life and the sunrise of the next. Upon that sunrise, the crusty maps of our weathered faces will be transformed into a stunning sculpture that has finally been completed by the glorious potter who formed us from clay on day one of the calendars of our lives.
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you me overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”
1 Peter 4:13 

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