My daughter left this morning on a mission trip to Peru. Going back over some old posts I found this one, which was inspired by her. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that it was first posted one year ago today. So, in honor of the beautiful young woman she has become I re-offer it today.
There are times when we worry about the next generation. We worry about the materialistic, technology driven, self-absorbed, self-centered and greedy culture we live in and what it will do to our children. Then there are moments when you realize that the Spirit is working in and through them in remarkable ways that are subtle and unseen. This afternoon I saw these words written on the mirror in the bathroom of a young woman of 16 years. I thought to myself how every morning as she brushes her hair, puts on her make-up and makes sure that she is dressed fashionably she looks up and sees scrawled across her mirror a reminder that “beauty is fleeting.” How true.
I am always fascinated by the amount of store we set in youth and beauty when it lasts for such a short season. If you have ever looked through an old photograph collection of your parents or grandparents, and seen them when they were young, when they were just starting out, you get a sense of this but only a sense. It is only when you are old that you realize how short your youth was, and how long in comparison will be the years of age. It is only when youthful beauty is gone that we realize how short a time it was ours.
Beauty is fleeting. But, in another sense, beauty is also eternal. The beauty of such a young woman with the maturity and wisdom to know that her physical looks will only last for a few short years must inevitably reflect a beauty that is beyond time. It is the beauty of the divine dwelling in her, shining out for all to see, smell, hear, touch and taste. It is the beauty of eternal life at the tender age of 16.