I looked at myself in the mirror this morning as I got ready for the day. I worked on my teeth, face, hair and clothing until I was satisfied. I even grabbed my hand mirror, so I could turn around and make sure the back of my person was as acceptable as the front.
Every morning, and most evenings, I see myself in a mirror, usually the bathroom mirror. When I was a little girl I would perform the daily washing and tidying. Back then the mirror was not just affirmation of my physical self, but also a springboard of who I wanted to become, enveloping visions of myself as a dancer, actress, teacher, wife or writer. As I grew into a young woman, I decided that I liked who I saw in that mirror as I caught reflections of independence, authority, ambition, courage, and drive. I often despaired that beauty was not one of those reflections, but figured I could overcome that through sheer force of personality.
I had 26 years of looking at myself, in my own mirror, before God got ahold of me and gave me another mirror. To my shame, I found that God’s mirror was a true mirror, and not the same as the one I had always liked to look in. In this new mirror, I saw that I had been using my own plumb line, drawing my own boundaries, and deciding my own values and morals based on what I wanted. Things I had been blind to, like bitterness, pride, and jealousy, were revealed. I saw that I had been wrong for those many years. But, I saw no condemnation in being wrong. I beheld that it was a simple fact, and that God was lovingly cupping me in His hands as He taught me.
This is an ongoing process, this learning thing. Instead of looking in the mirror for confidence, a strong façade, and knowledge; I now look for signs of friendship, openness, compassion, peace, vulnerability, kindness, and wisdom. I don’t have all these things yet, but God does, and I have Him in me. Because of that, I can now see His beauty in my reflection.
I still use my own mirror occasionally, but every day, as I read His word, God reminds me that His mirror is truth, and I like more and more to look in it.