At that time I entered a period of deep introspection—probably too much—thinking about my decisions, my fear, who I am now, who I was, and would become.

I wondered what it was like the day Adam first knelt down over the water for a drink and discovered his own reflection. I wondered what he thought about in that moment. Did he recognize the figure or think there was someone there, imitating his every movement? Did he speak to it, I wondered, reach out to touch it? What an illuminating moment in the history of man. What a discovery.

Thousands of years later in my bathroom a three-piece mirrored cabinet hangs over the place I wash my hands each morning. I open wide its doors and look deep beneath the mirror’s surface. It fascinates me to turn the glass against itself, in opposing directions and try to find a unique perspective, to see myself anew. I stand in front of the glass and remember my childhood haircuts from the barber’s chair where I could look ahead but see behind myself as well, each mirror a doorway to another room, where another person in a chair wore the same expression and received the same haircut, at the very same instant. Gazing into the mirror I could—for the moment---be someone else, somewhere else, watching me. Seen and known and yet, at the same time, very unknown. Over the years some parts of me would be intentionally ignored, pushed aside, and purposefully neglected. Places within me I preferred not to go but could not entirely forget.

I thought about this some more. This odd recurring moment in my own life, not at all unlike Adam's. I imagined many were guilty of this strange narcissistic behavior. Probably pursing their lips at the reflection, standing, turning, meticulously placing each hair, and spending far too much time deciding who their celebrity look-alike might be. Of course you definitely don't, I assured myself. These were merely illustrations--probably only true of others--entering my mind.

There was something to be said about mirrors and our relationship to them--something really profound--something I wanted to say, but could not put words to meaning. Something about myself, about you, about all of us. But this something could not be wholly grasped by my own mind. All I knew was how very peculiar it felt that God would create me so that I cannot see even my own face. The eye naturally stayed open and could see a great distance, but could not perceive itself.

I think again now of Adam and wonder about that moment long ago, wondering how differently he must have seen himself after the fall--after realizing there was something achingly wrong within him, seeing that the broken things around him were somehow a part of his own soul. How did he respond to his reflection? Did he ask God about the image or the ache? Did it shamefully enamor him? Maybe he ran from it--very far, very fast, tears streaming down his face--only to return the next day, and the day after, and the day after that--again and again--repeating the process, full of shame and misunderstanding- burying himself beneath it.

I think about this and wonder if man, amidst all his achievements, still kneels down over the water and feels just as he did then. I wonder how many of us still return everyday only to run away in our shame and return--again and again-- more conflicted, even more hurt, aching and confused. How many of us have unknowingly become utterly unrecognizable to even ourselves; seeing but not knowing as He in fact knows us; seeing but not forgiving as He has indeed forgiven us.

How long will it take us to finally sit quietly before that image? How much longer will we run? When will we finally see ourselves anew from the perspective that we are loved just as we are, not despite ourselves but because we are ourselves. When will we truly understand that we are the reflection of God?

Think of it. What if God knows something you don't? And what if that something is actually a someone? What if finally coming to know and face yourself and all the junk you're carrying around could free you up to know your God again? A God who has waited through eternity for your return.

It's so personal. It's all so uncomfortably personal.

1 comment:

DayAtTheBeach said...

This is amazing. Beautiful writing and right on about how uncomfortable it is to be redeemed.