Years wreak havoc on one's face and body. Like violent storms, they leave you physically ravaged. This you’d never find out once you believe what your friends say:
"You don't look a day older!"
"You look the same since the last time I saw you."
"What keeps you forever young?"
But each time I look in the mirror, I am told a different story. Unlike my friends, the mirror neither cares about my feelings nor about me. It gives me an in-you-face, line-by-line account of what I have turned into with the passing of years.
This doesn’t make me unique.
Celebrities who have an arsenal of expensive make-me-look-good tricks are not exempt from the onslaught of years. Proof?
I recently met in a party a dozen of my old friends from the corporate world where I overstayed and spent the most vigorous part of my life. One look and I realized (they realized, as well), although very discreetly, we are no longer the same.
Who is this old lady? Grace?!
He used to be a heartthrob.
She has doubled, no tripled, in size!
His hair has not turned gray, it’s gone!
This is definitely the geriatric set!
Then the conversations begin. And, without warning, the joy of seeing each other again immediately deletes the grotesque thought balloons. Years are cruel on what the eyes can see, but kind to the soul. Why, we're a new, improved version of our old selves: wittier, wiser, mellower, and sillier.
Grudges, biases, bitterness (a.k.a. bitchiness in our time) have grown so old they are forgotten. What the heart remembers are the excitement and the highs of once working together—adversaries one minute, allies the next—summed up as the best of times.
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)