Look in the Mirror

“This world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there’s a rumor going around that some of us are someday going to come to life.”
~C. S. Lewis

A wooden cabinet of sorts occupies one wall of the entryway in our house. Situated more for appearance than function, it does, however, sport a full length mirror that comes in handy for checking wardrobe and hair before heading out for whatever comes next. It is a particularly great aid for getting a necktie to hang at the preferred length with its knot bunched just right. I stood in front of the looking glass this morning for its feedback on my appearance, and was relieved that I did because a cursory glance revealed I had missed a belt loop and also that my hair needed more work in the back. Inching closer to the mirror, I found an aging man staring back at me, someone I hardly recognized. Just yesterday I told a senior friend that fifty four doesn’t feel as old as it once sounded. His thoughtful response: “Give it time.” The man I remembered had darker hair and more of it, tighter skin around the eyes, and less of a tire around the middle; diet and exercise are definitely in order–perhaps cryogenics. Regardless, it helps to see things as they are.

Let grace get a good look at you. The more honest you are with yourself about yourself, the more profoundly God is able to knead forgiveness into the essence of your life. Why is it that we tend toward playing Russian Roulette with authenticity? Only one moment in six am I entirely present as myself; the rest of the time conjuring up a hologram of what I want others to think of me. What would happen if, instead, I allowed others to peak beneath the veneer? What would change if the curtain fell and I stood exposed, naked as to thoughts and feelings and hopes and hurts and insecurities and needs? I imagine that many of my relationships would reboot with substance and depth of transformation. Perhaps I’m only as good as my next honest question and as real as my succeeding sincere confession.

Why contradict grace? Why reopen beleaguered wounds and delay the metamorphosis grace promises? What summons us to find sordid pleasure in self-inflicted lesions — slumbering dragons awakened by self-pity? Enough is enough! The enemy has gained a purchase in too many lives. For every individual who foists pain on herself or himself over and over for a hurt done to them or done by them in the past, let the healing begin. Stand tall; look in the mirror and find an unfinished masterpiece of grace.

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