The two questions I am asked the most are “How do you stay so young looking?” and “What used to do your hair?” I am pretty sensitive about the hair issue so I will only discuss my secrets for staying so young looking. I consulted a beauty expert once about the possibility of a facelift. After one session, she more or less suggested a face transplant. In fact, she suggested a chimpanzee. After being tempted I declined. I decided to work on my one major problem. I know I have other physical issues but this one really concerns me . . . dry, cracked lips.

When I was a child, I had a severe problem with licking my lips. It was so severe I sometimes left a red ring around them. When that happened my mouth looked like the north end of a southbound baboon. It was not a pretty sight. The only remedy that worked was petroleum jelly. I tried the grape flavor, but everywhere I went I had this eerie feeling I was being followed by toast.

The other secret of my youthful appearance is grocery items – not eating them, wearing them. When you take a walk in the park, do small children point to your face and say things like, “That thing sure needs ironing”? When you visit the zoo do chimpanzees wink at you? Well, I grew tired of those things happening to me and started researching the subject. According to skin-care specialists (whose motto is “I never met a face I liked”), you can use hot teabags to help get rid of wrinkles. Important hint from personal experience: it’s probably wise to take the teabags out of the boiling water before applying to your face.

For wrinkles around the mouth you can eat yogurt, and eat it sloppily. The yogurt combats the yeast infection that could be causing the wrinkles. Whatever dribbles will just fill in the cracks like putty. A remedy for wrinkles around the eyes is to cover them with cucumber or potato slices. They not only reduce the wrinkles, but they make great props when you want to scare the dog. Important tip from personal experience: do not let the neighbors see you chasing the dog around the house with vegetable slices attached to your eyes and yogurt dribbling from your mouth.

We are all familiar with the fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. In short, Beauty is forced to move into the Beast’s castle in order to save her father’s life. The Beast has a hideous physical appearance but Beauty eventually falls in love with him anyway. Yes, it is a fairy tale but it does cause us to ask some difficult questions. Do we judge others on the beauty of their appearance? Do we look at people differently because of the ugliness of their circumstances? Do we accept people who are not like us?

Hard questions, but Jesus had the answer. “If you love only the people who love you, why should you receive a blessing? Even sinners love those who love them” Luke 6:32 (TEV). The beauty in Jesus was that He spent time with the beasts of His day – the lepers, the publicans, the sinners, even His disciples. Not a bad model for us to follow.

There are beasts all around us who need to see the beauty of Christ. Unfortunately, we Christians, who are supposed to have the beauty  within us, often choose to ignore the beasts, the sinners of the world. What a tragedy. For what could possibly take away the beastliness of the world but the beauty of Christ?

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