No, this is not a post about my hair :) However, I have noticed the mirror at the hair salon seems very harsh. Is it just my salon or do you find that too? Our home mirror is far kinder. The edges are softer looking through this mirror. And then you walk into the light…YIKES!
It seems odd that I would find working around men in recovery to be like a mirror, exposing my flaws and imperfections. A mirror that show the image of a broken person in need of grace.
I never thought I’d see myself in the lives of addicts, alcoholics, homeless. No, no, I don’t look like that. I’ve never lacked for a roof over my head or a meal anytime I wanted. No, I don’t look like them at all.
I sit in bible study with them and hear them talk about knowing God’s purpose, uncertainty for some. One saying, “If there is a God…” and others saying “I can tell you there is.” Questions of where they’re going and the challenge of breaking the chains of their past. I listen because I am learning. From them.
The more I hear them, see them, walk among them, the more I see me. The dirt they once had on the outside I carry inside. Shame? Yes. Regret? Yes. Failure? Yes. Willful? Definitely.
One of the counselors said to me recently how unusual it is the empathy I have not sharing their disease. (More confirmation this is all God.) There is much I don’t understand and can’t relate to. But I’ve been lost and walking my course leading nowhere. I understand pain and sorrow. Those are the things I ache with them. The cause is different for everyone. The scars the same.
When I look through their mirror I am challenged to “clean up” the same as they are. There’s a Canton Spiritual they sing called “Clean Up What I Messed Up”. They sing it with such feeling because they’re singing about themselves.
“Clean up what I messed up, start my life over again…..I made up my mind I ain’t lying no more, ’cause a liar and cheater don’t make it through the door…gotta clean up what I messed up……”
The truth is we can never clean up our own lives. Only Jesus can rid us from the dark spots that threaten to eat our souls. Praise God he takes us just as we are.