"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

“Heart and Soul”

With exaggerated grace, she turns her head and in saccharine tones demands, Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest one of all? And the masked spirit of the mirror replies dryly, You are, of course, your majesty.  And the next day, Mirror, mirror on the wall who is fairest one of all? You are, of course. And the next day and the next until that fateful moment when the answer changes… Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all? Snow White!  What! What! With a splintered crash, the mirror lies in shards, and all the ugliness that is within her boils up as she plots Snow White’s destruction.

And Snow White, is she beautiful?  Well, yes of course she is fair of face, as this is a fairy tale. But she is also lovely within…gentle, kind, patient, humble, loving…revealing a rare gem, to be enjoyed by Disney characters and human fans alike.

Some think that they are pretty good, much better than other people in fact…more talented, more sensitive, more capable, even more holy. Some believe that they have hidden their faults well, behind elaborate masks, yet their brokenness and limitations are observable, and their sinfulness is in plain sight, and not just to God.  Living a lie shows.  Some feel that there’s nothing much that’s valuable in them, that they are ugly outside and within, and unlovable because of it.  Their public masks sport permanent smiles. Some of us…

God sees us as we are and calls us to discard the masks we wear; to risk the transformation required to truly live the new life in Christ. St. Paul wrote “For now we see in a mirror dimly” but perhaps that’s not the issue. Perhaps we are just confident that our true selves can remain secret, perhaps we are too self-satisfied, or too afraid, to wipe the mirror clean. 

Prayer for the Courage to be Authentic Lord God, we may believe that we can ‘fake it ‘til we make it’ but you know the truth. Give us the courage to discard all that is false and dishonest and deceitful within our minds and hearts.  Teach us to be genuine in our words and actions, in all of our relationships and in your sight. Amen.