This is where I’ve been…

Thank you, Faithful Blog Follower, for your patience with my absence. This is where I have been, preparing this story for a talk I did this morning. It was for a group of people who believe in God and so it is unapologetically faith-centred. If that’s not your cup of tea, please feel free to read no further. I am not out to convert anyone, and even atheists are welcome here. For those of you who have requested this, please show me the courtesy of not reproducing this work without my permission but you may freely post a link to this page to share it if you wish. Many thanks and enjoy. X Arianne

The Mirror, by Arianne Coad

There once was a girl, just an ordinary girl, who was loved by an extraordinary God. She knew Him, and loved Him, and followed Him even though she couldn’t quite understand how someone like Him could even like someone like her.

One day, while she was singing her ordinary songs to him and pouring out her ordinary heart at his extraordinary feet, she saw something that she could only describe as a vision. Out of the spotty blackness that she usually saw when she closed her eyes, an object began to materialize: an antique mirror with a gilded frame, it’s glass smooth and clean. It was beautiful, but even more breathtaking, was the voice that spoke to her saying:

“This is you. Reflect me.”

The girl was astounded; the extraordinary God had spoken to her? What was it that he said? Reflect me.

Stepping forward, she took her first peek into the miraculous mirror to see what amazing vision awaited her. Her face fell, there was nothing but an ordinary, disheveled and boring girl staring back at her, with a gawping goldfish mouth and straggly hair.

“I look nothing like Him,” she sighed, her disappointment a constricting lump in her throat. “He is perfect, and I am plain,” she thought. “He is beautiful and I am a mess. He is strong and I am weak. I’m just an ordinary girl. I am not up to this task.” 

Had it been anyone other that the extraordinary God who gave her this job, she would have run a mile, but she loved Him and if He asked her to reflect Him, she would do her best.

She looked at her reflection again, there was so much to do. She listed her deficiencies one by one, starting at the top with her hair, and stopping at her chin when it became too depressing to continue. “I’ll start with this list and move on to the rest of me after,” she said.

For an hour and a half, she primped and preened, combed and teased, and pinned and sprayed her hair. She cleansed and moisturized her skin, squeezed pimples and plucked stray hairs until her eyebrows arched over her eyes like the Harbour Bridge. She set to work with her concealer and foundation, blemish fixer and primer, pencils and brushes and powders, cremes and mascara and all manner of techniques until she brought her face and it’s parts under control. The girl in the mirror looked a little better, a little less like her.

She steeled herself with her very best Sunday Happy Face and lowered her gaze to the rest of her body. Her spirits plummeted. “I can’t do this,” she whispered in despair, “I’ve got nothing to work with here. What a disappointment I must be to Him.”

She started to cry, messing up her perfectly winged eyeliner and spreading mascara halfway down her cheeks. “I hate myself.” A dark thought flitted across her mind but she shook it off. “I used to want to die,” she thought, “so I guess it is progress that I’m just crying about it.” 

Defeated and hopeless, she admitted that she is a bad person, a bad Christian, a bad example. What was her extraordinary God thinking asking an ordinary girl like her to reflect Him?

The shadow that enveloped her was cold and lonely, until she heard that Father-voice again, the voice that breaks in and breaks through, and breaks down and breaks out. “You’ve misunderstood, dear girl. I am not interested in your reflection in the mirror. You are the mirror. You are the mirror.” In an instant she was broken down, and broken out and broken free. “You are not meant to look into a mirror, to gaze at it until you see perfection,” He said, “You are not meant to work at it until you see a perfect reflection. You are called to be a mirror, to reflect perfection.” 

“Hmm,” she thought. “Not a perfect reflection but to reflect perfection.” And all of a sudden it made sense. She was called to be a reflection of Him who is perfect, to gaze at His perfection so that others could see Him. “Extraordinary Him reflected in the glass of ordinary me,” she thought. “As long as I look at Him, when others look at me, they will see him, His beauty, His strength, His compassion, His gentleness, His acceptance, His strength, His tenderness, His love.”

The dawning of that thought in her heart was enough to blow away all the shadows of her inadequacy, to silence all the criticisms of her ordinariness, to dispel all the anxieties about her performance. She was not the object on display, He was.

“Reflect perfection,” she thought, “I can do that.”

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kenny
    Aug 21, 2011 @ 21:52:47

    <3'd hearing this today! Amazingly written, amazingly spoken. Just amazing, really.

    Like

    Reply

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