Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and just stare in wonder. No – erase that thought. I do not marvel at my good looks. (Although I may cringe at what I see!) I just do not see myself as being as old as the reflection obviously shows. While I may not have the strawberry blond hair of the past, I certainly do not recognize the white hair glaring back at me. OK, with the amount of hair of have now, flickering is a better description.
I look at my reflection and think of all the changes I have watched pass by the mirror: no glasses – glasses; buzz cut – hair almost to my neck; clean-shaven to mustache and mutton-chop sideburns to full beard. I remember the varying emotions mirrored on my face from pure joy and happiness to anxiety, fear and depression. It is reminiscent of a fast forward presentation of the history of my life.
I look into the mirror and wonder what other people see when my name comes to mind. I have an interest in wolves. I see wolves as basically shy, but clever animals, dedicated to the pack in which they live. And I think they look noble. That is quite a picture. I like it.
However, that is a little different from the picture that comes to mind for some of my family members. My mother-in-law once gave me a pig t-shirt. I said yes I like the shirt and pigs are not so bad either. Then followed a steady stream of pig paraphernalia from ornaments and hot pads to stuffed pigs that either screamed or snorted “Jingle Bells!” Now do not get me wrong. Pigs can be cute and the family members who gifted me were doing a loving act. But looking at the two pictures, I would rather have the former come to mind when people think about me.
As my gaze continues into the mirror, more memories of my life file by. These are memories of the countless times that others have failed to see something much more important than wolves or pigs when they think of me. And I wonder why? Why have I chosen to not show love to others? Why have I ignored important opportunities to tell others about the saving message of what Jesus has done? Why have I failed to use the gift of my recovery to be a consistent witness to allow others to see Jesus in my life?
But as uncomfortable as I feel I also see something else. I see the forgiving message of a Savior who died to take away all my shortcomings – all my sins. He has forgiven me for all those times that others could not see Him because of my words and actions. I feel the guilt of my past actions being lifted off of my shoulders. I am aware of a growing desire to do whatever I need to in being a reflection of my Savior’s love – not because I have to in an effort to make up for my past or to appear different in the eyes of others. Rather, I know the picture will change because of what my Savior has freely given up for me.
I guess this could be called my reflection reflection. As poor as that is, it remains important for me to remember the picture that comes to others when thinking about me – but not to insure a positive opinion of me. Rather, it is a witness to them about what Jesus has done for me and what is open to them.
I would like to ask about your experiences when looking into a mirror, but that is for you to use as you see fit in your life. If you want to read more about my recovery, changes as I see them, and my Savior – come on back.
I will wait you!