I have a love-hate relationship with mirrors.
Anyone else like me?
I like how a large mirror reflects light and makes a room feel bigger and brighter.
I enjoy the beautiful mirror in my office, framed in wood carvings of trees and vines, bought at the local international shop. I think it is from Bangladesh.
It makes me happy to see little circles of mirrors sewn into the fabric of a throw pillow, like the one I found in the tourist market in Granada, Spain.
I really love the one hanging in our living room, an old window from Bolivia, its four glass panes replaced with mirrors. I wish it could tell us its stories.
And I am thinking about my little double-sided mirror (magnification on one side) that I keep in a black velvet drawstring bag in the bathroom. It is a treasure because my dad gave it to me and because it goes with me when I travel. That mirror has been around!
I do love unique and beautiful mirrors.
I can’t stand a mirror that gives what I perceive to be an untrue image. You know how some mirrors make you look slimmer than you are. The kind in department store dressing rooms.
I am ashamed to say how often this perfectionistic quirk of mine caused strife. I would buy a mirror, haul it home, discuss (i.e. argue) with my husband where to put it, then he would do the hard work of hanging it, then I would complain, it was a lying mirror, it makes me look thinner than reality, I would feel ashamed for being vain, then I would disdain the mirror, the store, the husband, and the world …. It was not nice.
I expect a true reflection. And just this morning, reading about mirrors, I learned that even a small bend in the glass along the middle or if the top or bottom of the mirror leans out then the reflected image is considerably altered.
Now I know why our cheap mirrors give distorted reflections: They aren’t flat.
But do I really want a true reflection? Honestly sometimes I hate mirrors because they show me the truth. Think: aging skin, sagging muscles, thinning hair, etc.
Maybe I’m riding a ‘narcissistic train of thought’* this morning, but I have been thinking about mirrors since I read 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT).
It says, “We can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.”
I’d like to be a mirror like that.
I want my life to be a true reflection of Jesus.
But there’s a big problem: I am me.
I bend and lean wrong; I am vain and self-centered.
How could I be a mirror of Jesus’ glory? How can I reflect His goodness to others?
The verses before and after v. 18 give me hope. “The people’s minds were hardened … Even to this day …. a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ …”
“Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away … And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.”
Believing in Christ. I do.
Turns to the Lord. I do. Often.
The Spirit of the Lord works within us. Yes, He does.
God is making me into one of His unique and beautiful mirrors.
I love that.
*from ‘Mirror Images’ by Catrin Morris