I have a lot of mirrors in my house. You might think I’m just vain, but when I step out the way I’m actually fascinated by the light they reflect. Not only do they reflect light, they show off the room just as it is. Well, almost. Sometimes mirrors are distorted, especially the ones in department stores. They always add twenty pounds and a few dark circles under your eyes. I’m not sure why. But other than those unfortunate department store mirrors that mock our desire to squeeze into a summer bathing suit, our mirrors in our home reflect the design of the room and the life that is lived there. Sometimes I’m happy with what I see, but other times it is a big mess.
I don’t know about your place, but every time I catch a glimpse of my my house, I tend to see it falling apart faster than I feel like I can keep up with it. Our windows get smudged with dog noses every five point four minutes. Yes, I’ve calculated it. Dishes get dirty several times a day. Laundry covers 400 square feet of surfaces. Beds are unmade at least once a day times the number of children currently residing in our home. Wall paint gets bashed into more than twice a day. Smoke detector batteries die in the middle of the night because there is some unwritten code to drive us insane running around the house trying to figure out where that piercing beep is coming from in the middle of our deep sleep. Countless dust bunnies are living under the furniture. You get it. These things likely happen at your house too.
If I reflect on those imperfections too much – all the little bits of undone and unraveling that plot together and threaten to define me and my house as a hot mess – hopelessness might set in.
But seeing the mirrored image of those same flaws that seem so fragile and broken are also lovely in their own way.
Anything that comes undone reflects all that is loved, cherished and worth the sacrifice.
That view of all.the.things we love that fall apart and get torn apart make the upkeep and effort to overcome and get ahead of them worth the effort right there.
Besides watching all the ways our house comes unhinged before my weary eyes, I find joy in creating something because its reflection will be something more pure and lovely than what it was.
A beautiful room, a freshly made bed, a good dinner, newly painted cabinet, a clean kitchen or a dog-nose-free window might seem a frivolous pursuit in light of all that is more noble or more praiseworthy in the world, but it is one of the simple ways I love to reflect God and glorify Him.
We are all His image bearers.
Slowing down to deliberately create something beautiful and resisting all that threatens to fog up the reflection in the mirror is to honor who He is.
While we might have to fight against looking through a cloudy smudged mirror that threatens to magnify all that is unraveled, a little polishing of our perspective can give us hope of what was promised and the motivation to believe what He says is true.
The good news is that we aren’t doomed to just stay as we are and embrace the mess we’ve made, but we can clean up and mend the broken pieces by His grace and we are empowered to grow and reflect even more beautiful things.
And as we transform what we see in the mirror into something more lovely than it was before, we can also overcome the envy of those neighbors as they humbly seek to reflect Him in their own way. You know the neighbors I’m talking about, the Joneses in that beautiful home next door. How can we be envious, critical or depressed by what others have to offer when what is reflected is a generous and beautiful gift from the same praise-worthy God? Both reflections are lovely and to be praised.
It’s good to reflect on what is true and lovely, isn’t it?
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“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right,whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”