I was up late feeding my daughter and sometimes I find myself thinking about big ideas when I am sitting there in the quiet, near darkness. To my right is this photo on the wall. One of my favorites.
It was captured on film. A medium of photography that particularly impresses me because of the skill it demands. Manual focus, correct exposure and composing the shot in the frame. The goal is to get the shot with one click of the shutter. I originally took it because the reflection of my son’s face intrigued me, that was my focus. It made me think of 1 Corinthians 13:12:
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!” – The Message
God was the original inventor of the mirror. Long before the existence of glass mirrors was the reflection that occurs with water and light. Think of a photo you have seen of landscapes reflecting off of the water on a lake.
Mirrors and reflections exist to glorify His creation. God intended for us to be able to see our own selves, to see the beautiful art form that He created. When you look in the mirror the world wants you to see ways that you do not measure up to its grueling standards. The first thing that I typically see when I am looking at my own reflection is the tiredness in my face and the wrinkles that are starting to form. And of course these are bad things. I don’t think I’m living up to God’s intention for creating reflection. Think about what a different attitude it would be for us to take a look in the mirror and be in awe of what He has created. The world wants you to feel like God short changed you in the looks department and God very much wants you to look at your reflection and see Him and his own perfect work! What if instead of seeing wrinkles and dark circles under my eyes I saw the blessing of many days lived, and long hours I have spent loving those beautiful children he so graciously trusted me with. He wants you to see his heart, the detailed work that went into forming your body, his love for you. The next time you look in the mirror, instead of criticizing yourself, give God a compliment and praise him for the amazing work that went into creating your body. You were made in His image and no one else’s.
I view my camera as a mirror. Eventually my subject will look at an image I have taken of them and they will see something. When I look through the viewfinder I am searching to find a heart…a soul. Souls are worth photographing. I want to see the love between person to person or if I am photographing one person I want to see their love for life. One of my favorite things to photograph are parents interacting with their children. I want my client to physically see the love they have for their child first and foremost and the last thing I want is for them to look at that reflection and criticize what they look like or regret their outfit choice. God wants the same thing from us when we look in a mirror, or at a photograph.
Reflections were meant to be a way for us to see God’s work and God’s heart! We should look to see Him and his love for us, not what the world wants us to see. The world will try to convince you that you are worn, that you are ugly and that you don’t measure up. You will never be satisfied if you try to please this world with your reflection. No matter what the world sees it will seek to destroy you, either through pride or self-loathing.
Be thankful for what you see when you see yourself. Do not dwell on ways you could change your body so that your reflection is more bearable to look at. What a slap in the face to our Creator to think that we are capable of making ourselves look better than what He made us to look like! Train your brain not to find things to criticize but to compliment the One that personally sculpted your physical form. I guarantee you that God is thankful for what you see.