Satan always takes great delight in creating confusion. To help him do this better, he once had a special kind of mirror made. This mirror shrank the reflections of all the good and beautiful things in the world, and it enlarged all the bad and ugly things. Satan took great pleasure in going round the earth, holding this mirror in front of people’s eyes until there was not a single land, or a single person, who had not seen this distorted view of the world.
One day, Satan was laughing so much over the trouble this mirror had already caused that it slipped out of his hand and shattered into thousands and millions of tiny fragments. And a great storm blew up and carried these fragments to every corner of the world.
Some of the fragments were as small as grains of sand. They lodged in people’s eyes, and from then on, these poor people could only see the bad things in the world. The good things shrank until they were almost invisible. Other fragments were gathered up over the years, and made into glasses, and when people wore these glasses, they could never see anything in its proper perspective again.
God was very sad when he saw how damaged people’s vision had become, and how many of them could only see the bad things around them, and had lost sight of all that was good and beautiful. He had an idea for putting everything right again. “I know what I will do”, he thought to himself. “My Son is the image of me, he is my true reflection. I will send him into the world. He will reflect my goodness and my justice, and show the world how I long for it to be.”
So Jesus became a mirror for God’s people. He reflected God’s goodness out to the world, even to thieves and frauds, and to those whom the world despised. He reflected courage and confidence into the hearts of the sick and despairing. He reflected comfort to those in grief, and trust to those whose hearts were crippled by fear.
Many people recognised God’s mirror, and followed Jesus. They loved and trusted him. But others were jealous, and felt their own power threatened by the love of God. In the end, they could tolerate him no longer. They plotted against Jesus and killed him. They shattered God’s mirror.
And a great storm blew up. It blew millions of fragments of God’s mirror to every corner of the world, and it continues to do so today. These fragments lodge in the eyes of many, many people, and whenever this happens, they are able to see God’s world again, just as Jesus saw it. They beauty and goodness of God’s creation and God’s people are the main thing they see, and then they realise that the bad and the ugly are only transient and can be overcome.
Retelling of a story by Hans Christian Andersen