Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Mirror

There is a mirror at my parent’s house that is six feet by four feet. It is oriented horizontally a few feet off the ground so that a person using the rowing machine could see the full length of themselves and refine their technique. Its size and placement also make it attractive to little people who are able to view themselves and their antics in panorama. On multiple occasions during our visit I found all three of them perfecting their look and talking to themselves.

One morning between pajamas and cargo shorts Mister caught sight of himself in all his naked glory. I watched amused as he flexed his twiggy arms and made aggressive warrior faces at himself. He may have stayed all day were it not for the promise of pancakes.

Peanut stopped to talk to the baby in the mirror every time she passed by. The conversations were long, with lots of laughter and wet kisses. “Baby!” she would yell. “Baby!” Then, when she tired of the company she would say to reflection, with the same authoritative tone that she had heard Mister talk to the dog, “Baby, go! Go away!” She would point a stern finger off stage left, repeating herself and increasing the volume. The baby in the mirror never listened and eventually she would walk off shaking her head.

I can relate. I much prefer scripture as a window to the heart of God, but sometimes it does function as a mirror, to show me what I really look like. And in those moments the lighting is more department store dressing room than romantic restaurant, with amply evidence of age and cookie consumption. And I find myself frustrated and impatient with the versions of myself that do not listen and follow their high calling.

And I pray that each new day brings a little more Christ and a little less self. Not that I am going to grow out my hair and start sewing burlap dresses. I don’t think I could pull off the docile airiness of Jesus from the movies. But I do desire the mind of Christ; his ability to get to the heart of a matter, his healing touch and tireless compassion. I want to see undertones of grace and life behind the wrinkles, dated clothing and no-shower-today-for-Mama hair.

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin . . . Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:21-25

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