By Joseph J. Mazzella
I was preparing to shave my 50-year-old face this morning when I noticed something: my wrinkles no longer disappear when I relax my face.
They have become permanent etchings in my skin. I know too that the television and internet are full of advertisements for creams, treatments, and Botox to east and lessen the permanent wrinkles, but as I looked at mine in the mirror I decided that I would be far better just to let them be. They are, after all, the evidence of the life I have lived.
When I looked at them more closely I could see the lines on the bridge of my nose and between my eyebrows that have been cut from a lifetime of dealing with back pain. There are also some pretty deep ones above my eyebrows that have come from all the times I have been stressed, angry or frustrated. On my forehead are even deeper ones that have come from all of those moments when my eyes opened wide in astonishment, fascination, or learning. The thickest and deepest ones of all, though, seemed to be the curving lines around my eyes. They are the evidence of my every laugh and my every smile. I noticed too that the happier my smile the more their cousins in my cheeks appeared as well. All in all then I wouldn’t erase the evidence of this life I have lived here. It has been a good life. It has had its pains and sorrows but also its loves and joys. It isn’t over yet either. I can’t wait to see just how deep my wrinkles will one day become.
The evidence of our lives doesn’t just lie in our faces either. It also lives in every heart we touch, every person we help, and every life we make better. It lives in the love and joy that we bring to this world. It lives in the light that we carry around in our souls. May the evidence of your own life always bring a smile to your face and to God’s as well.