Lent is a time of introspection, a time for gazing into the mirror of our own soul. It isn’t comfortable, but it is necessary. When we gaze into the mirror in Lent, we do so to see ourselves as we really are. We notice the flaws and blemishes, and even the scars that make up who we really are. I don’t know about you, but it is hard to look at these things. It would be so much easier to look in the mirror and to only see what is good and lovely and appealing. It is humbling to look and see the ugliness that exists in us too. But it is in through seeing those things, that we can find forgiveness, healing and transformation.
Sometimes when I gaze into the mirror, I become absorbed with my flaws. It is so easy for me to get down on myself, and struggle to forgive myself for not doing it better. What I forget is what the Lord sees as He stands there looking at me. He looks at me through the eyes of grace and a love that withholds nothing and transforms everything. How moving it is that. He looks at us through the eyes of grace and a love that withholds nothing and transforms everything. My blemishes lose the focus as His love enfolds me. This love and grace forgives, heals, and transforms me and us into something new, even as we look into the mirror. This changes everything. Though I will never be good enough, though I will never be without flaws, His love and grace are enough. They cover me and change me, even the very image I see in the mirror. He created us in His own image and He continues to do so, thanks be to God. Just when I start to get downhearted, the Lord reminds me of the depth of His love, and that I am one of His own. He sees me through that love, as one gazes at their beloved. This beloved Lord lives in me, and is even reflected in this imperfect me. The blemishes though part of the story are not the whole story. His love and grace abound, cover me and transform me even now. How sweet is His love, His love, which even frames what I see as I gaze in the mirror of my own soul.
Paul says in Ephesians 3:18,19, “I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (NRSV)