Mirror Mirror, What Do YOU See?
How many times a day do we quickly look at ourselves in the mirror, complete the task at hand, like brushing our teeth, or combing our hair, and then we’re done. Rarely, do we ever step back and contemplate a real, heart-depth reflection. If we did, or if that mirror was given the ability to see deep within our heart and soul, would we be satisfied with the answer when asked: Mirror, Mirror, what Do YOU See?
I recently had a couple of bluebirds come for a visit just outside my office window. It was obvious from the outset that the male bird believed that he was seeing his adversary in the window since he spent the better part of the morning attacking his own reflection. Time after time he flew into the window, knocked himself backward, landed on the windowsill, somewhat dazed, regrouped, and repeated the same process again and again. Finally, in sheer exhaustion, he gave up. He spent the better part of the day beating himself up because he didn’t like what he was seeing. In other words he was fighting his own image.
Have you ever been in that situation? Like the bluebird, are there times when you forget who you are, or what you look like, and then consequently, become your own worst enemy? And why is that? Could it be, because you do not see yourself in the same way Christ sees you? As a result, we often can become our own adversary!
When you look at your own reflection, what do you see? When I take just a quick glance at my own reflection, I often forget that I’m the age that I really am. It isn’t that I mind getting older, I just truly forget that I’ve matured. I have a self-image of myself that’s 20+ years younger. Maybe you could call this my “identity age” which, in my mind, was my mid-30’s when the kids were still at home. It may sound funny, but even though I love being a grandma, and refer to myself often as Nana, my identity remains steadfastly in the years when my kids were still at home. My passion and love in life was being a mother. I’ve heard other people say, they too, experienced similar things when looking in the mirror. Their perception and their reality doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand. In other words, you may see your wrinkles but you may not perceive them as your identity
Women who have experienced body changes describe the same experience, especially those who have had major body image changes, such as, after a mastectomy. Many share how when looking in the mirror they’ve found it difficult to comprehend that the reflection they were seeing was indeed their own body looking back at them in the mirror.
Could it be that nothing that we see in the mirror can truly be trusted? Or maybe that’s a bit extreme. Maybe what we are saying is it should not be trusted for the eternal purposes which is what truly matters. Sure, I want to use the reflection before me to take care of the superficial matters, such as combing my hair or brushing my teeth, but not for the deeper elements of “self” that are only faintly projected in that mirror before me. God is not inside that mirror and neither is my soul.
The value that we place in our reflection, in this mirror, is of our own doing and of our own making. When we consider the fact that this piece of glass, which holds our reflection, can be broken, can be replaced, and can be crushed, we can then begin to see its shallowness. Why would we let this piece of glass do the same to us?
Christ sets a high value on our lives. So much so that He came and willingly died for us so that we could reflect His Holy Spirit. He removed the penalties of the old laws and replaced it with the beauty of Christ living in us.
So now, when we look in the mirror, we can finally begin to say:
It doesn’t matter what YOU SEE;
My old self no longer lives,
But it is Christ who now lives in Me!
19)For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20)My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21) I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.