Thursday, October 20, 2011

Girl at the Mirror

          There is a Norman Rockwell painting called “Girl at the Mirror”  A girl, no more than 12 stares into a mirror with a magazine laid perched upon her lap, an Old Hollywood starlet flaps open. There she sits, on her little stool, staring quizzically at her reflection. Her doll, now an afterthought, lays crumpled against the mirrors edge.  Red lipstick, a brush and comb, and some jewelry lay scattered about the floor.  Her tender face says it all, so vulnerable and uncertain, “Am I ok? Do you like what you see?  Will it be enough to hold your attention?” When I look at her, I see my face, my questions, my uncertainties about what it all means to transition from who I once thought I was into this new woman Christ is making me to be
  My internal uncertainty has been around as long as I can remember.  How many times have I stared into that mirror and asked?   
          My little eight year old frame makes her way into the bathroom, gently closing the door and locking it behind her.   oh how i loved to play dress up, experiment with make up and try perfume cocktails of various kinds.  the bathroom held a plethora of beautification possibilities.  my secret space where i could stare, create, and recreate me.  i don’t know what it was about the power of a hairbrush and pony tail ring but somehow it seemed in my little mind the key opening a world of transformation possibilities of transformation.  but this day my partially wavy, partially straight hair won’t do anything. Scowling, I yank open the drawer fumbling around trying to find my bristly round brush (the one like moms).  I try it again.  And again.  Why can’t I get it to look the way I want?  Yank, yank, tug, tug.  The tears start to come. Determination sets in: This will work!   Pull. Tug.  More tears and anger rise up.  Why can’t I make this work?  My little fingers begin to pull and yank again this time attempting to untie the pony tail ring that has become a tangled mess.  Why does it have to be so hard?  Why can’t I get this right?  I’ve had it.  I’ve failed.  And I want this whole fiasco to be over.  I fumble around the drawer and find them.  My answer.  My little fingers tuck into the holes and begin to cut.  snip. snip.  a locket of my hair falls to the floor.
Trying so hard to make it right. 
At eight.
Even now, almost thirty years later, I stare into my reflection from the window.  Watching cars go by one by one, anguish sets in, as I stare avoiding the computer keys in front of me.  What do I possibly have to say to you that matters? How is this even interesting?   
Yank, yank. 
Tug. tug.
Will I ever get there? Who is this woman in the window staring back at me? I cannot begin to talk about authenticity unless I’m willing to face myself.  But how can I ever do this when there’s been years of hatred, judgement, and contempt.  Nice veneer, covering over a tangled mess. tugging and yanking, Unless I look into the mirror of his response........

       Who's reflection am I looking at to tell me my worth? (confession)
       How would things shift I were to look in the reflection of my Savior's response? (contemplation)
       What does he say? (scripture, listening prayer)


Anonymous said...

The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever... Be kind and gentle to others
but also to yourself. We're only human and need to remember that from time to time... You're precious and loved, Susie.

Anonymous said...

I used to do the same as you Susie looking in the bathroom mirror. Now I'm not too keen on what I see but thank goodness other people, almost seventy, have the same problem unless they get plastic surgery!! :)
I agree with the other anonymous commentator that you are precious to us and loved by many.


lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing Suz - love you! You're a beauty and how well so many of us relate!