The photographer said, “Do you want me to re-touch it?  Everybody does it.”

If he hadn’t said, “Everybody does it,” I might have gone ahead and wiped away all of my flaws.  But if we’re all fudging the images of ourselves, can we ever really know each other?

Looking at my picture, I took stock: I’m stiff, my blouse is rumpled, and I’m squinting.

Stiff? To be sure. Like most writers, I’m used to being in front of a computer, not a camera.

Rumpled? Indeed. Most days, I’m meeting deadlines and running errands, so I usually am disheveled.

Squinting? Oh yes. Being legally blind in one eye, it means I’m trying to see you.

These imperfections could easily have been erased, but it would have been like disowning the life I’ve lived and second-guessing the One who gave me that life.

So I think I’ll keep my photo just the way it is:  true-to-life.  After all, Someone took the time and energy to create me this way; the least I can do is be myself, no matter who’s looking at me.

What If?

You probably think I should be over this by now.
A lifetime of temptation, giving up, starting again—
follow me into the turmoil of my mind.

My body will never be what I want it to be.
It's too late for my version of perfect.
Age eliminates firm arms, slender waist.

Truth broadcasts itself through my conscience.
What is left? Can I set new goals?
Eliminate old thought patterns?

What if I aim not for perfect body, but loving heart?
What if I learn to care about me, like You do?
What if I see myself as You see me?

Precious, beloved, created for joy.
I am important in my speck of the world.
I am grateful for your patience with me.
I begin again.

- Brenda Wood


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