Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mirror or Candle it Doesn't Matter

October 7, 2008 IOW

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.~Edith Wharton~

I don’t know about you but I found the comparison of the two ways to spread light to be very intriguing. Both have their different roles when it comes to the technique of shining and spreading the light of Jesus to a dark and dismal world.

If you think about it, the two need each other. Without a light to reflect, a mirror is useless. We could sit for hours in the dark in front of a mirror totally naked and not think anything about it. Well maybe some people can but if someone was to flick on a light we go scrambling to either get away from the mirror or dowse the light. Our central theme being “the mirror is not my friend.”

I felt that way when I was in Junior High and had my head shaved for a brain surgery. The thought of a hairbrush made me cry. Try as I might to stay away from mirrors or anything that would reflect my image I couldn’t escape the reality of my baldhead. It was there whether I wanted to look at it or not. Used correctly the mirror can be our friend if we are willing to accept what we truly see, not what we think we see, or what we want to see.

My granddaughter at the age of 3 found a friend in a mirror. We were staying in a motel on the coast that had a full-length mirror on the hall closet. She loved running down the hall and turning the corner to find her friend waiting there to play with her. They played for hours her friend and her.

It’s interesting to think children never seem to get enough of mirrors. They love to play with them and see themselves. However as they grow up and get to the age of accountability they lose all desire to look in the mirror. Instead of a friend they see something that is showing them things they would rather hide. In today’s society we are taught to dress in order to hide things to make ourselves look good in a mirror. If you’re fat “don’t wear stripes that go horizontally,” they say. Wear baggy shirts that hide your hips. Then there is always the trick of makeup and cosmetic surgery to hide other things we don’t want to be seen.

Whether we want to admit it or not we need the light to see ourselves in a suitable mirror. In order to use the mirror properly we have to be honest with ourselves. Too often people will refuse to look in the mirror and therefore they don’t see the light they need to see, Jesus Christ. Just like me when I was young ignoring seeing my reflection didn’t make what I was avoiding go away. I had to deal with it. We need the mirror to show us what we need to see whether we like what we see or not.

A mirror in front of the face can be bad enough but what if they surrounded us. Wherever we would turn there would be a reflection of us from all sides. Sides we would rather didn’t come out in the light. For example the human side of us that seems to creep out long enough to leave a bad image in our mirrors and in the mirrors of others. Before we know it we have created a faulty mirror, a defective one that others see and use that is doesn’t reflect the true picture of Christ. One distorted as to what we should look like in Him.

I have to ask, “How long would a defective mirror last in your bathroom if you had to stand there moving up and down and sideways trying to get to a true picture?” Not very long I’m sure as it would go back to the manufacture in a heartbeat.

Why aren’t we as adamant about the defective mirrors the world puts up for us to look at? Ones done in bad and distorted ways reflecting the images they want us to see on what a dad is, what a mom should look like, how the average kid behaves. Reflecting a bad example that is false, distorted and, should be, far from “fun.”

Being a candlelight or right mirror for Christ needs to be a non-negotiable item in our lives. Daily we should be doing things that progresses the picture of Christ to those around us. It starts with a single light that bounces off the mirrors or reflections from others to add to the picture.

No matter how hard Satan tries to creep in with his darkness our light counts, never doubt that. It doesn’t matter if we have a little light or one that shines brightly for many to see. Even a small light that pierces the darkness only a few hours a week can be something to look forward to. The lights of God’s love, His forgiveness, joy, beauty, strength, and peace shining through a friend, stranger, or love one.

Without the mirror and the light working together we would never be able to make the right corrections in our lives. Think about, I bet you put make up on or comb your hair the same as anyone else. You apply it to you not to the mirror itself. Am I correct? Yeah! After all, trying combing your hair in the mirror literally! Boy I can hear the sound now! It doesn’t do a thing for your true hair style or face.

If we know better to not make the corrections to the mirror why is it we try to change the mirror in which we see ourselves spiritually? We think we can change the Bible and Christ to reflect us instead of changing ourselves to reflect Christ but that’s not the way it works.

We’ve got a job to do! Mirror or candle, it doesn’t matter. Do both! Shine for Jesus, reflect His light. There’s a darkness out there that needs pierced and thanks to Jesus we can do it. Take your light with you, don’t leave home without it!!!!!

Copyright 2008 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


MiPa said...

Wonderful perspective. The image of a defective mirror speaks to me. Thank you.

Patricia Warren said...

Great points, Karen. I like the way you point out the difference a faulty mirror displays than a mirror that reflects true.

Amen and amen! As I've heard our pastor say, "Them words preach!"

Bonnie W said...

Oh Karen, you made me smile with the mental picture of me sitting in front of a mirror naked in a dark room. You are so right I would scuttle away quickly like a little crab if the light came on.

Wonderful post! Keep reflecting Him, dear sister!

Lynnette Kraft said...

I especially liked the thought of sitting in a dark room in front of a mirror stark naked. If it was me and the light was turned on - I'd run the other direction - FAST! Yikes!

However, what if the mirror is reflecting something beautiful? Perhaps reflecting the hug you're giving your grieving friend or the arms wrapped around your sick child at 3:00am? We don't see us when we see those things, we see love, mercy, grace. We stand in awe of Jesus.

Thanks for this thought provoking blog - a very unique angle.

Have a great day! (Nice to meet you.)

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

I agree -- mirror or candle -- we have an order from God: The Great Commission.

Your idea of the distorted mirror is awesome! What a challenge to reflect CHRIST and nothing of the world's IDEA of CHRIST! That's a "non-negotiable" as you say.

Lot's to think about in your post.
I do love the truth that is brought out in everyone's IOW's

Happy Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

"If we know better to not make the corrections to the mirror why is it we try to change the mirror in which we see ourselves spiritually? We think we can change the Bible and Christ to reflect us instead of changing ourselves to reflect Christ but that’s not the way it works."

That's just the way the world outside of Christ seems to want to do things too isn't it? They want to make Christ what they want Him to be so that their sins are OK, instead of looking to the Bible to tell them exactly who Christ is and always will be. It's good to keep that in mind so that we never become a part of that mindset!

Great post, so insightful!

Ava Semerau said...

This was a fantastic discussion of the verse. Thanks so much for sharing it.

You stopped me in my tracks with, "Why aren’t we as adamant about the defective mirrors the world puts up for us to look at?"

(btw a project I've been putting together for years is called "Let's ban the three-way mirror", inspired after an especially nasty episode trying on swimsuits! lol

Thanks for the insights today.

AVA <><

Denise said...

Bless you sweet one.