I wonder what people see when they look in the mirror. When someone makes a fashion choice, did they look at themselves before walking out the front door? When one’s hair is a mess, what did s/he see as she looked for that final time? When there is a stain or tear, did s/he simply ignore the obvious?
I wonder even as I think about walking out with a shirt with a stain on the sleeve. I saw it before I left. I could have changed. I thought about the choice and kept going. I walked out knowing there was a stain.
Looking in the mirror is a dangerous exercise. I find that I can carry on in blissful ignorance (often), knowledgeable decisions in context (rare), or a reticent feeling that there is no other option. It is a difficult to see with clear eyes. Even when one musters the courage to see, does one have an additional measure of courage to do something with what one knows?
I admire people that do. David’s words give me hope that I to can embrace the truth in the mirror. “God, if I’ve done what they say – betrayed my friends, ripped off my enemies – If my hands are really that dirty, let them get me, walk all over me, leave me flat on my face in the dirt.” (Psalm 7.3-5)
It would be wonderful if I could tell you how one can be David bold. I do not have a simple recipe at my disposal. I have found that the more one embraces what one finds the easier it is to do something with it. Growing old does not need to be a drag, one can find humor in the new reality. Recognizing one’s weaknesses does not need to be discouraging; it opens an opportunity to do something in the reality. Seeing the demons that lurk in the corner of our lives does not need to paralyze us; again, it is an invitation to fight for something better.
Mirrors can be scary. Mirrors are also doors.