Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Mirror Mirror

This was published in Salvationist 8.9.12

“Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and there saw……”

Anyone who has been a brownie, will probably know the story those words come from. It’s about a little girl and her brother who wanted to find a brownie to help their Mum at home. They went to the Wise Old Owl who told them the brownie could be found in the pool in the woods. The little girl had to turn around on the edge of the pool, say the rhyme above and look to see the brownie in the water. Of course the missing word was ‘myself’, and the girl was encouraged to be the one that fulfilled the role of brownie and helped her mother at home

 I remembered that rhyme when I was stood at the edge of a lake last week. We’d escaped for a few hours, to get a change of scenery, and a new perspective. It was a beautiful sunny day, but it was cold, and Chris wasn’t as thrilled at the prospect of sitting under a tree staring into the water as I was. “I looked in the water, and there saw myself….”

I wonder what we see when we look at ourselves, more often in a mirror, than in a lake? At the moment, I see a woman who looks every one of her 44 yrs. I see the hair that’s often too frizzy, the legs that are too short, and the wrinkles that have appeared seemingly overnight, around my eyes. But I’m certain that’s not what God sees when he looks at us.

 Last year, I discovered the work of Mandisa, a Christian Singer in America. She became famous when she came ninth in the fifth season of American Idol. But it wasn’t just Mandisa’s singing that made a statement when she appeared on the fifth season of the hit show.
Simon Cowell commented on her size as she left the room, “Do we have a bigger stage this year?” “It was my worst fear come true,” says Mandisa, “because it’s been the biggest struggle of my life and because it’s something I feel so vulnerable about.”
At the next round of auditions, the producers encouraged her to tell Simon how she felt when she discovered what he’d said. It wasn’t what they were expecting. “You hurt me,” she said to Simon on that show. “It was painful. It really was. But I want you to know that I have forgiven you. You don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figured that if Jesus could die so that all of my sins could be forgiven, I could certainly extend that same grace to you.”
 When I bought Mandisa’s CD last year, the song that really spoke to me, and indeed made me cry, was the song, “The truth about me.” Perhaps it was inspired by her experience on the TV show. The first lines say, “If only I could see me as You see me, and understand the way that I am loved….”
I spend my life and ministry telling people God loves them. He sees our sins and our flaws, but still we are God's precious children and he delights in us, as adults delight in toddlers taking their first steps or saying their first words. But when I look at myself, it’s a different story, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Whoever we are, male or female, I think we all struggle with the people we are at times. Not just the way we look, but perhaps even the people who we truly are, when no-one else sees.
Too often I forget that God created every part of me. He put the pieces together in my mother’s womb. He knows every thought that crosses my mind, and every word that comes out of my mouth, even before I do (Psalm 139)  Mandisa goes on in her song, “We both know it would change everything, if only I believed the truth about me.”

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you.
He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

I’m reminded that instead of lamenting all that we’re not, we need to rejoice at all God has done for us. Take a moment to see ourselves as he sees us.
Let him quieten our hearts and our minds with his love, even as we protest at our imperfections. Let's listen for his voice singing and rejoicing over us. What would his song choice be?
Today, for me, it’s the immortal words of Billy Joel, “I love you just the way you are!”

1 comment:

Tonya Salomons said...

Karen,

Thank you so much for sending me this link. Praying that you see yourself in His image today and every day. xoxo