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Cracked Mirrors
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Among the belongings that my husband brought into our marriage almost 36 years ago, was clothing from high school, artifacts from a mission trip to Haiti, sports equipment, beloved music records, his childhood pillow, and a hand mirror from his grandmother. The two-sided, oval mirror featured a regular reflection side, a magnified side, and a sturdy handle. We have since owned other bathroom mirrors: a fancy side-lighted mirror, travel mirrors, and several stick-on shower mirrors—passing fancies in the reflecting business. I appreciate the sturdiness and accurate reflection that Grandma’s mirror has always provided. We still use the hand mirror in our bathroom.

One day last year when I was cleaning the bathroom, I placed the hand mirror on top of something and later it slid to the floor with a crash. Picking it up, I noticed that the magnified side of the mirror was broken into radiating shards from a center point of impact. Of course, I was saddened by the damage to something that we both valued and especially since my husband’s grandmother had since died. One can still look into the broken side of the mirror, yet you never get a complete image—just fragments of a face. We continue to use the mirror and rarely notice the cracked side.

Human Jars of Clay

When I cleaned off the surface of the mirror this week, I pondered how we Christians are like “broken mirrors.” Some of my favorite Scriptures came to mind, such as 1 Corinthians 13:12, and 2 Corinthians 4: 7-11, --an amalgamation of poor reflections offered in our present world, and the usefulness of human jars of clay.

I was encouraged that my Lord Jesus continues to use me for His service even though I often offer others a rather poor reflection of my Master. One side of me may always be “cracked and broken” while I am on this earth. And in my process of becoming a reflector of Jesus, the magnifying side of self is the one that has to be regularly broken before I can really be useful. I marvel at what God has to work with for His chosen reflectors. Yes, I’m happy to keep the old, cracked mirror around to remind me of my own gift and purpose. As I look into the mirror I see signs of aging and personal flaws. However, I am cheered at the promise of reflecting the Lord’s glory, “being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit,” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV).

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By Karen Spruill, M.A. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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