Grandma, Do Wrinkles Hurt?

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

A friend told me this story recently. A seven-year-old girl was sitting on her grandmother’s lap. As the little girl moved her hand casually over the older woman’s face, Grandma said, “Honey, those are my wrinkles. They mean that I’m getting older.” The little girl thought for a moment and then asked, “Grandma, do wrinkles hurt?” 

That’s a loaded question! It involves more than just wrinkles. It deals with the whole business of aging. Age is an issue at all times of our life. In fact, age is an issue of life because our aging determines in large part the pattern of our lives. 

It’s difficult to think of aging without reflecting on retirement. I believe in retirement, but I’m afraid our culture has equated retirement with “ceasing to work”… and ceasing to work has become inactivity or endless days of golfing, fishing, or some other recreation. 

Back to wrinkles; do they hurt? NO! In fact, our wrinkles could mean far more than added years. They could mean 

Wisdom, if we decided to continue growing and sharing; 

Joy, if we used some of our time relating to, and serving others; 

Continued growth, if we did not retire our minds, and involved ourselves in the issues that are impacting our community; 

Spiritual growth, if we banded together with a few others in mutual accountability, if we practiced prayer and regularly shared in public worship. 

We live in a culture which glorifies youth. Notice the people in the TV commercials. We “older folks” need to show America a good image of aging by personifying an exciting sign of wrinkles. The Bible says that “Gray hair is a crown of splendor. (Proverbs 20:29). Many of the biblical heroes were up in age before they did great things. 

Our wrinkles need not hurt. Let’s make them a badge of honor. 

-Maxie Dunnam