WHAT DOES SICK LOOK LIKE?
When people know you are ill they expect you to look sick. But what does sick look like? My disease causes weakness and you can’t see that. Chemotherapy causes hair loss and gravely ill people may be cachectic and pale. Even still, some terminally ill people look totally normal. So I guess people are surprised when they hear someone is sick and see them look “normal.” I’m just as guilty. Recently I saw a young woman with stage 4 cancer who is undergoing chemo. She’s gorgeous! So the first thing I said?
YOU LOOK GREAT!
I didn’t mean to say it, but like so many things, it just popped out. It’s meant as a compliment, as if looking good helps lessen the seriousness of it all. Sometimes I groan when I hear it. Myasthenia gravis altered my appearance with a flat “snarl” instead of a smile. My eyelids droop, usually my right one is a lot worse and sometimes I can barely keep it open. But most of all, I have a big, round moon face and double chin thanks to prednisone. I just want to look like my driver’s license photo for crying out loud. I know, that’s kind of pathetic. So when people tell me I look good;
I LOOK TO SEE IF THEIR NOSE IS GROWING
Recently, a dear lady said it. Without pausing to let my brain engage in polite conversation, I said, “Why do people say that?” It’s not like I don’t have a mirror. I know how I look. She never missed a beat and replied, “Because when I see your face, I see God at work. I see Jesus in your smile.” It made my day.
I FELT BEAUTIFUL
For the first time in a long time I felt truly beautiful, not because of the mirror and not because I was particularly beautiful before. But, she confirmed that beauty comes from the inside. I want people to see Jesus in me. If there is anything good in me, it’s Him. Moses spent time with God, basking in His glory. It literally radiated off his face. When he came down from the mountain, he had to cover his face with a veil. That’s what happens when you spend time with Almighty God. You soak up so much of His glory that it is reflected to others. Myasthenia gravis took my smile, but, gave me time to spend with a Holy God who chooses ordinary people to be His dwelling place.