I'd like to show you a face.
It's a good face.
It's the face of someone who was in the seventh grade in 1953.
It's the face of someone who taught me to look beyond the hurt that people can cause to what lies beneath. To find the spark of goodness in even the most vile people. To forgive without being asked. To love without being loved in return.
It's a face that taught me that love is not equal to judgement. That love can be meted out with grace. That God offers each of us - EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US - the exact same love, no matter who we are or what we've done. That there are those who are the hands of God on this earth who can do that very same thing. The person who wears this face is one of those people.
It's a face whose ears have listened to my innermost hurts and sorrows. Whose words have counseled me through countless pains and grief, and each time led me right back to where I belong - at the feet of God.
It's a face that's seen beauty in all the things of nature that usually go unnoticed by the human eye. From bald eagles to blackeyed Susans, the eyes of this face have seen and appreciated it all as a wonderful, sacred gift from the Father. The person who wears this face is such a gift to me.
It's the face of someone who doesn't deserve all she's been put through the past ten years. From the time her first bout of pneumonia set in until today, her health has been steadily declining.
Scleroderma is an insidious disease. Please go here to read more about it, and pray that it never attacks someone you love.
While you're at it, please say a prayer for my dear Aunt Joyce. She's the face I love so very much and cannot imagine living without. She is 68 years old, and in the last stages of her fight.
She is the face of scleroderma.