In the 1937 Walt Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Evil Queen engages in daily self-glorification by asking her magic mirror, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” For years, she receives the same answer: “You, O Queen, are the fairest in the land.” One day, however, the Evil Queen receives a very different response: “Snow White is the fairest of them all.” This revelation enrages the Evil Queen and brings doom upon Snow White – until her Prince Charming awakens her with a kiss.
Mirrors are interesting objects. In most developed countries, people have several mirrors in their homes as well as in their offices, vehicles, purses, and even briefcases.
The purpose of a mirror, generally speaking, is so that the holder (or beholder) can see his or her appearance. As a result, the earliest forms of mirrors are believed to have been pools of dark, still water or primitive vessels containing water with a sufficient depth and radius to permit self-gazing; in time, these gave way to pieces of polished stone such as obsidian (volcanic glass), which were later replaced by polished metal and, eventually, metal-coated glass. Today, an ordinary mirror is likely to be made with a flat pane of clear glass bonded to a thin layer of reflective metal such as silver.
Although the primary purpose of a mirror has not changed over time, there is another purpose – a more important purpose – that has emerged: reflecting light (most often sunlight) as a signal in times of distress. This is the reason a small mirror is often included in a survival kit or among other emergency gear. Even a tiny mirror can make a big difference if one is lost, ill, or injured.
Almost two thousand years ago, Paul the Apostle wrote a letter (actually, a second letter) to the Christians in Corinth, and he used the image of a mirror to make a crucial point:
Whenever anyone turns to the Lord from his sins, then the veil [of the Law] is taken away. … We Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18a, TLB)
One of the most important jobs of a Christian is to lead others to Jesus Christ. Some do this with words. Others do so with actions. Still others simply reflect the glory of the Lord in their lives and thus illuminate the pathway to the Son of God.
This month, a month dedicated to gratitude and the giving of thanks, let us each do what we can to show others the Light of the World (John 1:1-5, 8:12), who came down from heaven to save souls and give eternal life (John 3:16-17).
Let us be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord!
-- Dr. John Morris