If the mirror had a face would it look like what you expected to see?
Ice cold fear washed through her veins as she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror by the door.
Feeling highly unsettled and a bit lost, she looked around the growing crowd in complete dismay. What am I doing here, she thought to herself? I don’t belong here. I’ve got to get out of here before they see me and throw me out.
This doesn’t make any sense she thought. I am supposed to be beautiful. He said I would be beautiful. He positively assured me that I belonged here. He even invited me here.
Look at me, my clothes, they’re tattered and full of holes. I’m a wreck. My shoes, where are my shoes? Oh NO, I’ve lost my shoes. Frantically pushing back limp pieces of damp hair from her now sweaty face she tried desperately to pull the remains of a tattered hem line across equally battered and bruised feet.
Could this be any worse? Glancing around from half masked eyes hidden beneath the folds of her long tangled, shaggy hair told her that it definitely could be as she noticed all the pretty people. The women in their finery and laughing eyes, the gentlemen in their dashing suits and dazzling smiles.
She felt as if she’d been sucker punched in the gut.
She had to get out, now… This has all been a huge mistake.
Panic rising within her, frantically she looked around for a door any door with which to make her escape. This is awful she thought. How do I get out of here without being seen? Fighting back the tears and feelings of horror she began to walk slowly toward what seemed like an exit. Carefully, methodically lest she draw unwanted attention to herself and she get thrown out in front of all those pretty people, she walked silently, as much as any tormented soul could do.
Finally reaching toward the door at last feeling its warmth in her hand, she turned the knob very slowly, holding her breath dreading the expected, inevitable squeak that always seemed to come. Just before she started to faint from holding her breath so long, she slipped quietly like a wraith through the door as if she had been borne upon the wings of a prayer.
Heart thumping, mind racing she reached purposely for the familiarity and comfort of the book that she carried with her always. Expecting the thrill of anticipation as her fingers touched her beloved book she could only respond in horror as she realized that her most valued treasure was gone. NO, No, no her mind screamed, not my beloved book too…
The beloved book of treasures, the one that spoke of a kingdom and lands far away where a Creator created all things in amazing, brilliant and exotic color. A book that told of deceptions, lies and murders by the creation itself and the resulting expulsion from the most beautiful garden ever created. The book that went on to tell of a flood, parted seas and mountains that smoked and quaked. Miraculous births and miracle-working power throughout all of time.
One such beloved story within the beloved, treasured pages told of a love so amazing that the Creator became flesh and lived within His own creation to show them His great love for them. Proving it forever by dying at their hands then rising on that glorious third day in power and great Glory.
Oh the most sacred book in all the world and now it’s gone, gone all because she lost it, proving at last to herself in the end she was indeed a failure.
The burden of losing her beloved book was more than she could endure. The tattered clothes, the shattered myth of who she was nothing in comparison to losing the greatest treasure anyone had ever given to her. The man had said “guard it with your life” for it is very valuable too me. Study it very carefully for everything you need is found within the pages of this book.
She had done that for so many years. Until now, until she was finally in His house and her beloved book was gone.
Slowly as if they had a mind of their own the tears begin to fall. One by painful one. Each plopping to the floor in great heaving sobs. She had failed. She had come short of all that He had said to her and now here she was in His house, without His book, dressed in tattered clothes and no shoes on her equally battered feet.
The pain was more than she could bear. Sinking to her knees in great despair, her heart melting like fire within her she wept until she could weep no longer. So wracked with grief was she that the sounds of her sobbing drowned out the slow but steady footsteps approaching.
Crying out all of her broken heart, her broken dreams, her shattered life until she could no longer cry a single tear. She released a single pent-up breath of air only then realizing that someone had been humming and stroking her hair. As her senses slowly came back to life. She realized that she was being held as if she were a little girl and the person doing so was a strong and kindly gentlemen who hummed a soothing melody while he was stroking her tangled, messy hair.
Wait, her hair! Her clothes, her feet!!! humiliated beyond words, trying to jump up, she heard him chuckle with a deep belly sort of chuckle. He asked her kindly, what’s your rush little one?
Feeling deeply humiliated and a bit foolish at having been found in such a depraved condition, she tried to explain her disheveled condition but the more she tried the more tongue-tied she became and so after a bit she just quit talking altogether.
Standing up he said, come. Something about him seemed familiar and comforting so she followed him not feeling alarmed until he stood at the very door that had brought her out of the room that had caused her first to despair.
Please sir, she said I can’t go back in there. I’m not dressed and I don’t have any clothes in which I can change. Please sir, all those people were dressed properly I couldn’t possibly go back in there. I really don’t belong in there.
Turning from the door with a sigh he said to her, alright, but there is something I first must show you, please follow me.
It turns out it wasn’t so far to follow, it wasn’t but a couple of paces or two when he flicked on the light or what she perceived was a light. He, taking her by the hand brought her over to a curious looking bowl full of water. It wasn’t your average bowl as it had mirrored sides all around it. Even from where she stood she knew that if you leaned into that bowl to wash you would see a perfect reflection of yourself from all sides of the bowl. Everything in her resisted going to the bowl just as she knew he was drawing her to the bowl somehow.
Trying desperately to step backwards. Fear, doubt, revulsion, panic all rolled up inside her gut clawing at her insides trying to choke the very life from her. Yet when she looked at his face she saw nothing more but compassion, love and kindness confusing her all the more.
I know what I am she cried. I am just as ugly now as I have ever been, washing won’t help me at all. He said I would be beautiful. He said if I read the book and guarded its secrets in my heart I could come to His house someday. I would find peace and joy, comfort and strength. All I’ve found is that I don’t belong. His house is full of pretty people, people who belong here, not wasted people like me.
Look at me sir, I’m ugly and my clothes are filthy rags and I’ve lost His book. Tears falling once more.
Sorrow dropped her to her knees as regret upon regret rolled over her in wave after failing wave.
Through her tears she could hear movement around her like the sound of a curtain moving with the breeze, but she just kept her head down eyeing each tattered string in her ragged dress thinking how each one represented a piece of her life that had unraveled time and again no matter how hard she tried. Marking each frayed hole with a nail stained finger she finally surrendered to the reality that there was no possible hope for repair, not for her dress, not for her.
He knew, somehow he knew.
Finally when she could not bear the curiosity any longer she looked up and what she saw sucked all the breath from her lungs and once more she felt the room spinning right before she fainted dead away.
Coming to her senses, the first thing she knew in startling clarity unlike she had ever known is that, he was near and without having to be told she knew exactly who He was.
The next thing she wanted to do, she wanted to crawl in a hole, hide deep down under the earth if at all possible. Dying wouldn’t have been good enough at this point. The more she tried to move, to scramble deep within the earth for cover, anything to break those piercing eyes gazing upon her burning soul, the less she could tear her gaze away.
Like a flower tossing in the wind waving its fragrant fingers in a melodic dance, she saw His hand reach out to her and lift her to her feet. She immediately felt love as she had never known love before, with such depth of emotion that she couldn’t begin to describe it, even if she tried.
Tear after tear rolled down her cheeks as she realized that she had told Him she had lost His book. She also realized with wide-eyed wonder it was going to be alright. In the back of her mind an idea was forming about that book and this man and although she couldn’t quite piece it together just yet she knew the two were somehow intertwined.
In those moments of awakening for her it was if all the heaven and earth stood absolutely still, collectively holding their breath as to what came next.
Before she knew it she was standing in front of the bowl of mirrors once more. Anguish and loathing threatened to choke her as guilt and fear clawed at the recesses of her weary mind. She didn’t want to look in the mirror but she knew she must. Whatever reflection was there she must bear it for she had failed Him.
She must wash, it was the only way, she understood that now, she realized that if she ever understood anything else in her life. She must wash in His water. She understood that He was the man who had been crucified and risen again and He was asking her to wash.
For the first time since she had stepped into the house her fate was decided and she squared her shoulders, with all her heart in her hands she looked up into the beautiful face of the one she had loved and longed for all her life.
Whatever she saw in the mirror now would never compare to the love she saw in the man’s eyes and that gave her all the courage she needed to brave the mirror to wash and look and see…
Nodding His head toward the mirror once more and giving her a wink, she with eyes squeezed shut, leaned her head down toward the bowl of mirrors with trembling fingers lightly grasping the smooth cool surface lest she faint again. The moment of truth had come. All the years of waiting had finally arrived and this was her midnight hour. What would she see, better yet what had she finally become?
Hesitating ever so slightly she opened her eyes and when she did, way down deep within her a laugh begin to rise as she saw for the first time what He had seen in her all along …
I hope that you enjoyed my mini story of a woman desperate to fit in lost in what she thought she was. I wove my story using traces from different woman all over the Bible and I left it for you to create your own ending. How does your story end when you washed at bowl of mirrors? I would love to know so please leave me a comment below.
Thank you for taking to the time to read it I hope you are blessed~
1) When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2) And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3) And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
I’m hid with Christ!