My granddaughter is just starting to walk. As she explores the house she finds cupboards to open, food in the frig, remotes on the tables, and all kinds wonderful things that call out “touch me,” and “pick me up.”
Perhaps one of the most interesting things to discover in exploration is “yourself.” I am sure this will not be the last time she will look in the mirror, both literally and figuratively. Throughout life what we find in the mirror can bring about the greatest joys and the severest sorrows. It can bring motivate us forward or drag us downward. It can send us outward to love, or keep us self-focused and resistant to love others. What we see in the mirror often gets projected on others in both overly positive and overly negative ways. Perhaps this is one reason Jesus calls us to “love others as we love ourselves.”
Lent is often seen as a time to look in the mirror, to reflect on who we are, who we are, and where we may be falling short. Some envision the themes of Lent as depressing and demoralizing, focusing only on the negative and “bad” things within us. The real goal of Lent has always been to be honest and real with ourselves. Are we living as people created in the image of God; absolutely loved and valued, full of potential, but in and of our own efforts and striving unable to live up to that potential apart from the God who created us and redeemed us in Jesus Christ.
James 1:22-25 directs us,
“Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
Mirrors are important in our life, to help us see clearly. They can help us be honest and fix our hair or our shirt collar when they are disheveled. The mirror of God’s Word helps us see clearly as well. What will I see in the mirror? Will I be honest and seek the life that God offers to the needy one on the journey?