Generation Cedar

John Mark Reynolds is another one of those writers who just has an uncanny ability to say ordinary things in extraordinary ways. This is a snippet of one of his tender observations of his wife….

“We all grow old.

I was marveling at this fact to Hope, still the Fairest Flower in All Christendom, when she asked me what I expected. Here is roughly what my wise woman said:

“Growing old is what people do. You did not,” she pointed out, “do so well as a young man. You have done much better in middle age. We will,” she said with confidence, “grow old together and do better still.”

This is perhaps easier for Hope to say than most. She still has no gray hair, naturally (unlike her husband) and (to paraphrase my Nana) God has been kind to her. She has, of late, pointed out a few new lines on her fair face which God’s gift to me, a near sightedness that puts everyone in soft focus, had kept from my attention.

Some of these shallow lines were put there by laughing with our children. The death of our baby, Edmund Saint John, contributed to them in a harsher way.

I know, God have mercy, that some are there through my selfishness.

Perhaps I had not noticed them because I look so much older than she, but I think mostly it is because she looks better to me now than ever.

Really. Her face is softer, happier, more content. The wisdom that was always inside has an easier time shining outside. She is adult. Hope is mature. Who would not love a wise, mature, adult?
This is (or should be) an easy call.

Once Hope asked me, after the birth of our last child (ten now!), if I minded the “stretch marks.” I did not understand the question.

They were, I thought then as I think now, lovely and silvery. They were right.

Many people seek to tattoo themselves, to proclaim who they are.

These stretch marks were the natural marks of love proclaiming Heaven’s high calling of motherhood. Mature people can come to regret the tattoos of youth still coloring much older skin, but mature people cannot regret such marks as the mother’s, because they belong there.

Who would want it any other way?

What idiot would trade mature wine for new? Who would wish the deepening colors of ancient stain glass swapped out for the garish colors of today?

Old is often better than new.”

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4 Responses

  1. Now, why in the world would this post make me feel choked up? (I can’t blame pregnancy hormones, because I’m not pregnant!) More great stuff!!

  2. My husband regards my stretch marks as my “badge of honor”. He has the same sentiment and admiration for what they represent as the writer of this story.

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