A few months ago, a young woman I’ve known all her life looked at me and said, “What’s that on your face?” She’s the bold, outspoken type, so her question didn’t shock me, but I said, “What particular blemish are you talking about?”
“The hole in your cheek!”
“Oh, you mean the pockmark?”
Suddenly she realized, I just pointed out a pitted scar left by a pimple on my pastor’s face!
I chuckled and said, “It’s okay; I embrace my flaws.”
Awkward for her.
Not so much for me.
Why do we try to hide our imperfections? It’s a significant question.
Perhaps it’s because we fear rejection. Maybe it’s that we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.
Whatever the reason, there is freedom in our relationships when we know we are loved regardless of our flaws and apparent imperfections.
Frankly, at my age, you do one of two things when it comes to your appearance:
• Spend a lot of time and money on hiding your blemishes.
• Accept the reality that you are far from perfect, and it’s okay.
I choose to accept my imperfections.
Here’s one of my favorite Brennan Manning quotes, “Be who you is, or you is who you ain’t.”
In other words, when we try to be something or somebody we are not, we compromise and lose who we truly are.
I have scars.
I have thinning silver hair and a belly I suck in (a lot) when someone takes my picture.
Of course, I bathe, shave, apply deodorant, floss, attempt to exercise and watch what I eat. By no means am I suggesting we just let ourselves go.
However, I still have scars, spots, warts and a pockmark or two, no matter what I do. As long as I’m in this earth-suit, I must face the reality of an aging and less-than-perfect body (and mind, obviously).
Here’s another shocker: I’m dying.
Every breath I take is one less breath I’ll have in this frame.
Every second I experience is one less moment I’ll have on this side of eternity.
And every compressed vertebra, lost strand of hair, and imperfection reminds me that my present condition is far from flawless. My current body is an interim shell of the man I will become one day.
I suppose I could worry about the temporary and waste an excessive amount of time and money trying to avoid the inevitable, or I can choose to live with eternity in mind.
I choose eternity.
Someone once said to me, “You Christians live with the delusion of a better life and a better time to come when this is it; this is all there is.” I smiled and said, “It’s not a delusion; it’s hope.”
For me, fixing our eyes on eternity is not escapism or about being distracted by the unpleasant realities of this life through some religious fantasy. My hope is in the fact that Jesus said, “I’m preparing a place for you,” and it’s a far, far better place.
So, I’m not discouraged by my present realities. I’m not frustrated by my current imperfections. The old and rusty face I see in the mirror doesn’t scare me.
Because I know I am loved, and that this life is not the end of my story.
This article originally appeared on KurtBubna.com and is reposted here by permission.