a lasting impression

image courtesy of photobucket.com

A few years back I noticed something in the mirror. I might have noticed it sooner had it not been for my failing eyes. There it was, over my left eye. I didn’t laugh, although it did bring a smile to my face.

In my mind, that definitely marches to the beat of its own drum, I thought of a cartoon. I’m not sure if that’s a normal thought process; to consider a new found mark on my face, and be reminded of a cartoon character, but that was my first impression.

The second thing I thought of was my mom. No, she doesn’t have this mark on her face. It’s not completely genetics, my dad never had this mark either. The reason I thought of my mom was her words, that transported me back in time to my childhood.

I replayed the few times I remember her warning me of that mark. I watched the old video in my mind in real time, removed by 30 plus years. The old memory brought another smile to my face, not because I was happy about receiving the mark, but because my mom was right…. Again…

I wasn’t disobedient, my mom didn’t give me a direct order, it was more of a warning, “If you keep that look on your face, it will stay on your face permanently when you get older.” Of course it’s not the first time she’s been right about a great many things.

The cartoonist achieves a completely different emotional look with two small, straight lines’, drawn on the face of the cartoonist’s character. The lines origins are about a quarter of the way up the forehead, about even and above the outside of the eyeball itself.

The mark then runs from that point on about a 45 degree angle downward toward the area of the center of the nose right between the eyes, stopping about even with the inside of the eye and even with the outside of the bridge of the nose on both sides.

This is the picture of anger and/or frustration. Sure enough, there I stood expressionless in the mirror and the angled line showed perfectly in the form of a wrinkle, until I grinned, then the few wrinkles were comforted with plenty of company surrounding them. (note to self, don’t smile as much…)

The expressions on peoples’ faces sometimes reveal the condition of their heart. The perspective in which we see our lives manifests itself in our eyes and on our faces. I believe we don’t communicate well to ourselves and our children, that how we see the world declares who we are in the world.

The free will provided by God can be used to choose to be happy, sad, or glad. It is a choice… I freely acknowledge we are all wired a little differently and some of us have issues of depression.

Sometimes in that state of mind great things can be accomplished, but only if selfishness is on the back burner and thankfulness is front and center. On this side of depression, handled properly with a correct perspective, is peace and joy, not perfection, but perfect grace.

During these difficult times, it’s easy to spot the stress on other people’s faces. In many cases, the stress contorting the affected faces and eyes is as easy to read as the big “E” on the eye chart.

How we feel reads loud and clear. As His chosen people, God has delivered us from the stress that afflicts the lost. If we’re in His will, He will see to the outcome.

I can look back over the earlier years of my life and remember the feelings of frustration and anger that my mom spotted in me as a child. Peace and joy would be a difficult journey ahead of me to yet be discovered.

I don’t mind so much the angry line that was formed by what once was my standard expression. It reminds me of a path I no longer care to travel.

Who knows, maybe God can use it as reminder to others that their expression can leave a lasting impression on not just a face, but on lives as well.