For our recent annual writer’s retreat we rented a lovely, large home that had enough space for us to spread out and write. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was a large mirror hanging on the wall at the foot of the staircase.
Now there are things in my life I seriously have love/hate relationships with–my computer, my car, and food, for example. But my relationship with mirrors? There is no doubt; I absolutely have a hate relationship with them! Can you imagine that?
Mirrors simply reflect the image in front of them (unless they are magic like in Snow White). When I look in the mirror, I see an aging overweight body, a graying head of hair and a double chin. The mirror reflects the reality of my aging self. And mirrors with a magnifying glass? Who needs that?
The tricky thing about mirrors is what you see is based on your perspective.
When I look at others I do not see the wrinkles, the age spots and the graying hair I see when I look at myself. My perspective of them is different. I am way more forgiving of the flaws I see in others than the ones I see in myself. And while I am critical of what I see in a mirror, it is very handy to have one. It can prevent me from leaving the house with my blouse inside out or show me that stain I didn’t initially see on my jacket. It can even remind me that I forgot to brush my hair when getting ready.
I often wonder if I had a mirror that reflected what is inside of my soul, what would I see? Would I see the insecurities, the doubts, the longings, and the fears that reside within? Would I see the pride, the arrogance, the envy, the deceit, and the lies that I bury inside? Or would I see the grace, the joy, and the beauty of a redeemed life? It all comes down to my perspective and how deeply I am willing to peer into that mirror.
1 Corinthians 13 is well known as a love chapter of the New Testament. However, Paul also reminds us in the end of the chapter that sometimes we just do not see the full picture of our life with Christ. In verses 12 and 13, he states, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” God sees us as we truly are without having to resort to a reflection in the mirror. He knows us. He looks at us not in a reflection, but with eyes that can pierce to our very souls.
For now, what I see in the mirror is just a poor reflection of what will be someday when I sit at the foot of the Savior. Right now I can only envision my future with Christ from my perspective. I cannot wait until I see him in a way that is not a reflection but reality.
I cannot help but think if the God held a magic mirror in front of us and we asked, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” the answer would come back “You my child, are fair indeed, but the fairest of them all is our Fairest Lord Jesus.”.
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heav’n can boast.
All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine.