IN THE PROCESS OF CLEANING OUT FILE DRAWERS, I came across photos from long ago. I looked pretty good back then! Add a few decades; what do I look like now? I can still smile and wiggle my hips, but what do I look like at my WORST moments?

An atheist artist offered to paint a portrait of Eugene Peterson, but when he finished, the picture looked horrible. He explained that he was drawing the hypocrisy and evil that lurked within all Christians.

Rachel in one of her “moods”

That set me back! We can fake it nicely for random photo shots, regardless of mood, but supposing our mood—not our “say-cheese” smile or outfit—was what really came through?

People on the brink of death don’t look pretty, and I, of course, am thinking hard about that. But how do I want to look between now and then?

I love to laugh. I love an emotional binge. I recently saw part of an old Jane Eyre movie and decided I needed to re-read the novel for the umpteenth time and let it jerk my heart around. I also love to cry over music that jerks my soul around.

How would Eugene’s artist paint me? Yes, he’d see plenty of inner grumbling and annoyance, a fair bit of anger, and a smattering of discouragement. And, of course, there’s the grim, everyday slog-along that life requires. But I hope a thick layer of love would rise to the surface. We all struggle with inner stuff, but through the grace of God, that will all be erased, and we will wear our REAL face—forever and ever.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? What would you like it to show you? I’d love to hear your stories, either in a comment below or