There we sat at the breakfast table, Jorge and I with my new tablet. We were trying out the camera, and after taking pictures of ourselves, we hooted with laughter. “Is that what you see across the breakfast table every morning?” I asked him, horrified at my image. With my coffee mug in hand, a severe case of bed-head, a saggy old discolored nightgown (or was the saggy part under the worn-out nightgown?…) more wrinkles than I realized I had, my horror was justified.
Jorge was just as shocked at himself when he saw the picture he took of the top of his once-full-of hair-but-now-balding head. “Am I that bald???” After all, it was the first time he got a view from the top.
We each saw ourselves within the parameters of reality, and there was nothing handsome or physically beautiful about either of us. (You’ll notice I’m not publishing those pictures.) We just don’t look the same as we were when we met and married a few decades ago, and that’s OK. Our goal is to wear our beauty on the inside.
The Apostle Paul expressed it this way: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day… while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16, 18)
During our years of walking together with the Lord, Jorge and I have learned to appreciate each others’ inner beauty: love for God and others, obedience to His word, kindness and compassion. Those are qualities that we value and want to cultivate more of, even as our “outward man” gets more saggy and balder. They are the eternal things that really matter, that the Lord is renewing in us day by day. We echo the prayer of Moses in Psalm 90:17: “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us”. That beauty is something that the camera on my new tablet can’t capture!