Today as I dropped Klynt off at school he was singing “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. I like that song. It’s kind of a combo of ideas presented in God’s word. Both “get the plank out of your eye, before trying to remove the speck in someone else’s” and “if you look in the mirror and walk away and forgot what you saw, that’s like hearing God’s word and doing nothing about it” and throw in some sha-na-na’s and you’ve got it. Anyway, I’ve been humming it all day, and it got me thinking about what women see in the mirror.
Yesterday I was thinking about how tough it is to be a teenage boy. You know what I think is tougher? Being a middle-aged woman. I counsel a lot of them. I am one myself. In our culture, it’s the spot where women begin the descent down the “beauty curve”. Our world doesn’t value wrinkles, or age spots or gray hair or jiggly arms. Our world values lean, tight, smooth. So as middle age begins the climb toward old age, and the devalued traits appear, we can no longer hide behind physical beauty for a sense of self worth. I mean, you can take up running and get firmer, but it won’t take away wrinkles. (By the way, unless a bear is chasing me, I don’t understand running. Why? What is the crazy love of running? It’s like I missed a class in middle school where they handed out a running pill that everyone swallowed that promised to digest in 20 years.) You can dye the gray’s but they’ll be back in 6 weeks.
We don’t just see our aging bodies in the mirror though. We see every real and imagined failure. We notice ridiculous details and get all our flaws and quirks out of proportion. We imagine no one has the same feelings of insecurity or unworthiness as us, so we make valiant efforts to cover and hide. We take up tweeting every clever thought to impress. We make sure to “check in” on facebook from any place we think will up our cool factor. We use humor to deflect- sometimes we tear ourselves down in jokes to beat everyone else to the punch. I’m painting a bleak picture, and I know we don’t do all these things every day, but we do them sometimes. I do them sometimes, (except tweet, because I really don’t get it at all).
Mirror, mirror on the wall- who is the fairest one of all?
So, are you the wicked queen trying to gain your worth by eliminating all the competition? Are you Snow White hanging out waiting on a prince to come and save you? Maybe a little of both…..
The King already came to rescue you, by the way. Not because you were Snow White, beautiful and fair, but because the part of you that is more like the Wicked Queen than you or I would like to admit, needed rescuing. And He loves you. So much more than anyone in this world can or will. He sees you more clearly than you see yourself. The wrinkles, the jiggly arms, the bad attitude, the jealousy, the fear- all of it. He also sees the beauty, the talent, the effort you make, the desire to serve, the noses you wipe and the tears you dry- all of it. And yes, He loves you.