Objects in the Mirror

Due to my car accident in January, I have been avoiding driving. My husband would argue that this is a classic case of my bad diving habits catching up to me, but I choose to believe it is in direct correlation to my recent accident and the ensuing, lingering injury. When I do drive, I’m overly conscious of cars entering my lane, misused (or unused) blinkers, speeding summer vacationers (living in Florida isn’t always fun), and inanimate objects on missions to collide with my freshly repaired vehicle.

While sitting at a red light on my way to work minding my own business, I looked in my side mirror to see a barely-legal brunette applying what looked to be a second coat of mascara on her already made up face. “As long as she is behind me” used to be a valid argument… that is until a Toyota 4-runner rear T-boned me in the Target parking lot. She reached for eye liner, causing the wariness and anxiety to exponentially grow in my chest. Once again, I looked closer at the mirror and saw “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” Surprisingly, I smiled.

No longer was I anxiously watching a twenty-something apply another coat of makeup; I was mentally transported to a Father’s Day several years ago. Father’s Days are never good days for me. Long story short, my Dad lost his battle with cancer in 2003. On that particular rainy evening, I was sitting at a stoplight, on my way get a much-needed cup of coffee at my favorite Starbucks, when a quick glance into my side mirror changed my perspective forever.

A beautiful rainbow was suspended above the saying, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” 

Rainbows echo promises. Not only promises of Biblical proportions, but also reaffirming, stabilizing promises of new days, ends of tunnels, and smiles after tears. That night while sitting at a stoplight I was reminded that my Dad was just a whisper away, that one day I’d see him again… on a day that was much “closer than it appeared.” You may think it is a stretch, but I was encouraged. Because of that encouragement long ago, I was blessed today.

Taking it a Step Further

It’s the little things in life, isn’t it? The little reminders of a blessing discovered, a smile given, a dream realized. Don’t ever forget to look in the mirror of life; not just to see your reflection, but to reflect upon what has gone before. My past has made me who I am today. The battles fought and won have made me a stronger person. The people I’ve “lost” along the way will one day be found again in my home beyond the sky. The broken hearts, the broken dreams, and the broken promises have only served to mold a masterful collage, more beautiful from its healing than a pristine, undamaged, un-characterized whole. I wouldn’t change a thing.

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes even more beautiful.
Barbara Bloom

What in your mirror is closer than it appears?

My Mirror Says What?

As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. Proverbs 27:19

As a staff member at a private, liberal arts college, I am constantly reminded about how important friendship is to the outlook and personality of an individual. Friendship, at its core, is the fulfillment of a basic need of companionship. It molds opinions and thoughts, it shapes personlities, it influences futures, and sometimes, even alters the past.

There are three basic types of people: trendsetters, followers, and standalones. Each personality type is unique. A trendsetter is the person who is found at the forefront of discussion, leading the way into new territory and standing as an example to those around them. The follower is the individual who looks to trendsetters to establish their thinking, appearance, and opinion. The standalone is the person who knows who they are, what they want out of life, and how they will accomplish their directives. In my experience, I have found that every individual falls into all three of these character types at one time in their life, and to be perfectly honest, a combination of the three is often a true representation of reality.

While having dinner with a friend last night, we discussed a myriad of topics, but the topic of friendship resonated in my mind, even until my coffee this morning. As a thirty-something in today’s world, I find it hard to schedule time to “hang out” with my friends. Career, husband, church activities, job on the side, and family matters often get in the way of sitting down and chatting with my girlfriends, but when I get the chance, it seriously encourages my heart. Why is this? Why is friendship such an important component to life and sanity? I believe that Proverbs 27:19 holds the key to these questions.

“As in water face answereth to face,” said the Psalmist. In my opinion, that just means that the reflective surface of still water can serve as a mirror. Simple, right? “…so the heart of man to man.” Like our “water mirror,” our hearts reflect when we look at our friends. Whether I am a trendsetter, a follower, or a standalone, my attitude, personality, and opinions are reflected in those with whom I surround myself. It is my duty to evaluate my heart and see if I am reflecting things that I would want to become.

Friendship does more than meet a basic need for companionship; it is an essential building block of human existence. Frienship is a mirror. I want to mirror joy. I want to mirror the relationship of Christianity. I want my mirror to draw others in, to make a difference, to impact lives. I want to mirror what I want to become.

So, it stands to reason that I asked myself (over a second cup of steamy coffee), “Am I an adequate mirror of what I would want someone else to reflect? Does my attitude encourage others to a joyful outlook on life, or am I a negative influence?” Whoever reads this, please keep me accountable. This entry stands as a challenge to my own heart to do my diligence to reflect the love of Christ, a joyful spirit, and an approachable personality.