You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. [Psalm 139:13-14 (TLB)]
We women tend to consider the mirror a critic, and a ruthless one at that. I don’t know about men but I suspect you fellows may not be all that different. When we look in a mirror, the message we perceive is often disparaging and fault-finding: tired looking, “bed head,” too fat, too old, or too saggy. Then the mirror starts in our apparel telling us things are too tight, too loose, out of style, too young, too old, too wrinkled, or just plain ugly! Most of us don’t hear our mirrors affirming that we are marvelously made.
In a women’s magazine, I once read the suggestion that we stop whenever we pass a mirror, give ourselves a good hard look, and then think of something nice to say about our reflection. Admittedly, some days that’s a bit of a struggle; nonetheless, I think it is a good idea. If we can’t accept ourselves, with all of our flaws and imperfections, how can we accept the flaws and imperfections of others? If we can’t love ourselves with our faults and blemishes, how can we love our neighbors? Yet we are told to love our neighbors as we love ourselves! Loving and accepting our neighbors has to begin with loving and accepting ourselves.
On the television show “Saturday Night Live,” Billy Crystal used to play a character who would say, “You look marvelous, darling! Absolutely marvelous!” That’s what we need to hear our mirrors say to us! Of course, no matter what I tell the mirror, I will still have the grey hair, wrinkles, and age spots that come with my age and the hopelessly straight hair, freckles, and short legs that are a result of my genetic make-up. But, I will know that I am a splendid creation. I will be reminded that God created me in His own image. God doesn’t make trash! I am a miracle. God loves me, His creation, just as I am, flaws and all. I am, indeed, most marvelously made and most fully loved by my creator.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? When God looks at you, what does he see?
I realize I have only so much say in what I look like on the outside. The age thing is the fate of all humanity. But I do have a say on the inner me. I can choose to grow bitter or better. I choose better. I choose life. [From “Hot Flashes and Cold Cream” by Diann Hunt]
“You look marvelous!” [The way we greet one another Sunday mornings at my Florida church]