Mirror, Mirror in my hand
Who’s the fairest in the land?
If you’re a long time reader of Sundays with Cindy, you may know that our special child Robbie has some things that he really, really loves. Music is chief among those things that keep him entertained. He has a small personal DVD player next to his chair and enjoys listening to his many children’s sing along DVDs. I am always searching for new kids’ DVDs, not only for Robbie’s sake, but because I have to listen to them, too, hour after hour—after hour.
And of course, a boy can never have too many pillows stacked on his lap! If Robbie sees one of his beloved pillows across the room he won’t rest until he has it in his hands once more—even if it means he has to somehow get out of his chair or bed and crawl for it himself. It is not unusual to see Robbie surrounded by four, five, even six pillows!
Then there were the years you would never see Robbie without an apple in his hand. We never knew what it was about an apple that so appealed (no pun intended) to him—the color, weight, size, smell??—but even in his sleep, that apple was tightly grasped and woe to the one who tried to sneak it away!
Eventually Robbie traded in his apple for a bagel. He never tried to take a bite of the bagel, but like his former love, the apple, it was always in his hand. Blueberry was (and still is) his favorite—all those pretty purple polka dots and that yummy smell! We would trade him a new bagel when the old one was as hard as a rock, but even with the new one in his hand, he could hardly bear to give up the petrified one. We never have figured out what is so entertaining about an apple or a bagel!
Robbie has a new love these days, though! It is—himself! Or rather, a reflection of himself. The object in his hands now, hour after hour, day after day, is a mirror! We bought him an unbreakable baby mirror a few months ago and it is his new best friend. He can’t wait to snatch it up the moment he awakes for the day, and I can’t tell you how many times he has fallen asleep at night with the mirror lying across his face because he dozed off gazing at himself. And he does much more than merely stare at his reflection. No, he kisses himself, or blows raspberries, or makes funny faces in the mirror to entertain himself—and his daddy and me!
Watching Robbie with his mirror has Bob and me cracking up—and shaking our heads. It has gotten to the point now when I sometimes have to sneak the silly thing away and hide it. Robbie has always had some autistic tendencies, but he is such a social, people-loving guy that we have never thought of him being autistic at all—until the mirror came along. Now he will totally ignore us, totally wrapped up in his own reflection. Sure, we think Robbie is a fascinating guy, but he’s carrying it a little too far! And it hurts Mommy’s feelings, being ignored!
We want Robbie to have a good self-image, and we are always telling him what a handsome guy he is, but now, if he could flex his muscles in the mirror, I know he would! You know what they say the difference is between men and women, don’t you? A guy will look in the mirror, flex his muscles and think what a great-looking specimen he is, where a woman looks in the mirror and sees all her defects. And that’s our Robbie—a fine-looking specimen!
I believe what “they” say. The mirror has never been my friend. I don’t enjoy standing in front of a mirror. I get my business done—doing my hair, applying my make-up—and then I’m outta there! And full-length mirrors—forget about it! Surely that thing hanging on the back of the door must be one of those fun house mirrors! No thanks, I don’t really want to see my reflection with all its faults.
But what if a mirror could reveal something better, much more beautiful than the original me? What if when the world looked at me, they didn’t see me with all my imperfections, but they saw Jesus reflected instead? Psalm 90:17 says, “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us…” Remember the old chorus “Let the Beauty of Jesus Be Seen in Me”?
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity.
Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
by Albert Orsborn
When others—family, friends, strangers, even our enemies—look at our lives, do they see the unconditional, boundless love of Jesus exemplified? Do they see His forgiveness when we forgive? Do they see us exhibiting His grace—unmerited favor—toward them? Do they see His hope, joy and peace reflected in our behavior?
Mirrors reflect light. Jesus said that He is the light of the world (John 8:12). As imitators of Him, He said of His believers, ”Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14a, 16) Our light ought to reflect His light in this dark world. Is our testimony a reflection of Him—an encouragement to our fellow believers and a witness to unbelievers? Galatians 1:15, 16 says, “But when it pleased God, who… called me by His grace, To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen.” When others look at the mirror of my life, is Jesus revealed in me?
You might be the only “Jesus” some people see. Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Do others see Jesus living in you?