The Mirror

July 13, 2010
by Lynne Phipps

Psalm 139:13-15 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are too wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. (NIV)

Hoss, our wirehaired dachshund, has a problem. Whenever he is on my bed and he stands up and turns in a certain way, he begins to bark frantically at the image he sees in my dresser mirror. Even though he is no longer a puppy, he still does not recognize himself in the mirror. This lack of recognition not only frightens him, but it also sparks a series of distressing growls and the like. I have tried picking him up and placing him directly in front of the mirror, but he refuses to look himself in the eye and acknowledge who the image is really reflecting.

I have thought long and hard as to why Hoss, unlike the other dogs, who learned to recognize themselves early in puppyhood, still does not realize who he is seeing in the mirror. I think that perhaps it is because he has been raised by two Scotch collies. Denby and Belle have parented Hoss. He goes everywhere they go and mimics their behaviour. I have come to the conclusion that somewhere in his doggy brain, he sees himself as a collie. Thus, his own reflection startles him. He thinks it must be a strange dog that has somehow gotten into the house. Unfortunately for Hoss, until he has the courage to look himself in the eye in the mirror and accept himself with delight for who he really is, he will never feel safe or comfortable around this other dog.

Likewise, as people, we, too, can have a distorted or totally unrealistic image of who we really are. For reasons too numerous to delve into, many of us, when looking into a mirror, view ourselves as ugly, fat, skinny, stupid, plain, unpleasant, too short, too tall, or any number of other unflattering ways, instead of seeing ourselves for who we truly are: fearfully and wonderfully made by the Lord God of the universe — a fact of creation that makes us, each and every one, beautiful!

So, the next time we look into the mirror, let's not be like Hoss, but rather, look ourselves squarely in the eye and begin to praise God for exactly the way He saw fit to make us. I'm sure that as we continue to do so, we'll be surprised at how quickly our past image of who we are will begin to transform itself into who we truly are: a creation of godly beauty and love.

Prayer: Lord God, wonderful Creator and loving Father, thank You that we were not hidden from You when we were formed in the secret place. Thank You that You love us exactly as we are, and that You know that we are creations of beauty and love. Help us, this day, to put aside our preconceived ideas and to praise You for the fearfully- and wonderfully-made people that You have created us to be. In Jesus' precious name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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