When I look in the mirror, Ino longer recoil. Most of the time I like what I see. The teenage, pussy acne is gone. In it’s place is a pretty face. Nothing too out of the ordinary though. I remember in my teens, my mum standing with me in front of a mirror telling me I was pretty. I know this kind of thing has been bashed in the press recently as encouraging arrogance, vanity, and esteem based on looks. That day in front of the mirror really helped me though, which is partly why I’ve never forgotten it.
When I look in the mirror I see the face God made, the smile people are attracted to, the person he created me to be. My face is the one part of me that is not disabled in some way. I do refuse to have a full-length mirror in my house though. I hate to walk (shuffle, really) past them due to my wonky posture; my backside sticks out and my knees are twisted… it says to me, ‘spaz’. I was once at my mum’s friend’s daughter’s birthday party in my teens and walked past a full length mirror in the ladies’. This is when I first realised the wonkiness, and wondered, is this how others see me? It is something which, rightly or wrongly, has almost haunted me in a way. When I pass a mirror, I prefer to sit in either wheelchair as, although I am sat, my posture looks more ‘normal’. I wonder if anyone else out there who has a disability sees themselves that way?
When I look in the mirror, I one day hope to only see the person God made, with none of the twisted knees, sticky out backside hangups. I guess most people have hang-ups about the way they look. So far, so normal!!
I was very moved to watch the new campaign from Dove. In it women were asked to describe themselves to a forensic illustrator who drew images of the women as they described themselves. Strangers were also asked to describe the woman they had just met and the illustrator drew images of the stranger’s description. Both images were then shown to the woman who had been drawn. Of course there was quite a big difference between the images as described by the subjects themselves and how the strangers described them. An amazing lesson in itself about self-esteem I think. You can watch the video here:
Then I got to thinking, what if we did the same with the attributes of God? If you were to describe God, what would the illustrator draw? What would a stranger draw?
In Vincent Donovan’s book ‘Christianity Rediscovered’ he talks of his experience as a missionary to the Masai tribes. He describes how much of evangelism is simply a case of saying ‘you think God is like X, but actually God is like this, like Jesus’.
Often our perception of God can be as distorted as our perception of ourselves. This is partly why, I think, that God chose to reveal his full nature in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. In coming to earth, God was saying ‘this is what I’m like’. The portrait of God is Jesus. Want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus.