Shout it from the rooftops!: things are not as they appear.
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city. (Proverbs 16:31–32 NRSV)
The infirmity of old age, the stumble, the lapsed memory are to be neither denied nor desired.
Yet a society that knows how to live in blessing recognizes the value of the aged and honors the glory of old folk. There is an elegance in the winsome 84-year-old, the gracious centenarian, indeed the sixty-something who has passed her accumulated wisdom on to less polished successors rather than hoarding it as her competitive advantage.
Such people are more glorious than the sulkiest swimsuit model. Her beauty is also not to be denied, but it hardly competes with the glory of the wise old grandma.
If true beauty is apparent only to the perceptive, so is genuine strength.
Self-mastery is an awesome feat. Those who achieve it deserve the highest platform, gold medals hung around their necks for pulling off what so few can manage. Holding one’s tongue is an Olympic triumph. Giants walk among us, refusing to be victimized by emotions they feel as strongly as the raging lunatic across the street or the self-absorbed romantic a block away.
Mighty warrior, AK-47 in one arm, mask over vicious face, conquering cities, unstoppable?
That ain’t nothin. I work with a guy who for forty years has spoken only when he’s chosen to speak. Caring words, perceptive and directive, nourishing and sustaining, corrective and sage.
Strength and beauty, oddly invisible to the herd yet cherished by the wise for the treasure they are.