Do you see wrinkles? Bags under your eyes? A new spot appearing on your chin? Do you recognise yourself, even?
Or do you see something reflected back that can’t be seen?
Do you see the love you feel for your family? Do you see the affection your friends and work colleagues have for you? Do you see the mistakes you’ve made and the path you’ve trodden as a consequence of those mistakes?
Do you see the child that you once were? The teenager with all that angst and emotion? The excited young newly-wed or the terrified parent in those first days of your child’s life?
How do you think what you see in the mirror reflects how the people in your life see you?
There has been a bit of a theme to my experiences this week, and something I saw Eddie, my minister, work on both at school and in church today. He did a fantastic assembly for a school full of primary age children yesterday and asked them the same thing as I just asked you – what do you see in the mirror? I thought it was perhaps a bit of a deep question for 5 to 11 year olds, but I was really pleased to be proved wrong. They understood what he was getting at, that what we see in the mirror is only part of our picture and there is much more to us than outward appearances. I really wanted one of the children to say that they saw themselves in twenty years time with a successful career and a family etc, but I guess that really would have been a bit too philosophically deep for them at that age. Crikey, I only thought about that after much thought and (if you pardon the pun) reflection yesterday!
It reminded me of something I’d read recently, where a writer said that the future is behind us because we can’t see it, and as we journey through our life we face our past all the time and is therefore in front of us.
It took me some time to work that out – the fact that our past is in front of us because we know exactly what the past contains and the future is yet unknown and therefore unseen – but once I’d wrapped my head round it, I got what the writer was saying.
I’d really like to think that when we look in the mirror we can look past the physical see not only our future reflected from behind us and our past which is right in front of us, but also see the face of God who is with us every second of every day.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?