On the lake that summer day, my boys smiling from ear to ear while tubing. We’d needed that – a time to smile, laugh, fall into splashes. The storms circled around us – and the lake waters mirrored the trees hugging the shoreline. The reflection lasted so long as I didn’t get too close – or a boat cut through the surface. I’m sure, just dragging my fingertips across the water surface would have scattered the reflection.
Reflections are like that. They don’t last. They’re not real. Reflections can be a dangerous place to linger too long – on something not quite real.
Retrospection is like that. It deceives, too. It always shows the perfect response, not calculating in the depth and breadth of the moment. It is often in retrospection I beat myself up – beat myself about imperfection in the reflection.
My relationship with my Savior and this Father God who loves me more than I can imagine – it risks being a reflection, too. I don’t want my walk to be a surface reflection of the relationship God designed me for. A surface reflection doen’t change lives. I don’t want to risk someone brushing their souls up against my surface and this relationship with the father that I pray every morning can be a light to others either through words or actions – I don’t want it to disappear with just a brush of elbows or the lighting of a birds feet.
I want it to be real, tangible – real enough for real life touches, brushes and bumps.
The reflection might be dazzling, like art. Those trees on the lake edge? With all the dead leaves, earthy dirt, broken branches, new growth trying to find its place in the sun alongside tall trees reaching high to our Lord, critters high on the limbs, low in the roots and in-between – I want to be real like that in my faith.
God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”
In scripture, when God created us in His image – it just wasn’t the shape of the nose, legs, hands or color of the eyes. The creation went deeper – to our hearts and souls – and our hearts and souls were designed to be God’s nature walking on earth overseeing, connecting with every living thing we came in contact with. God’s reflection isn’t just facial. It isn’t just art. God’s reflection is heart and soul plus the action of living and loving others.
And when we had trouble grabbing hold of all that – He sent us His son – something real, tangible, flesh, blood and bones:
“The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish”(John 1:14)
Oh, no, friend. He doesn’t just shine us a reflection from His throne. He gives us the multi-dimensional, holistic, skin on the outside – soul on the inside, hand-grabbing, neck-hugging, tear-collecting, heart-mending, inside-and-out healing, ten-toed, feet-walking, standing-with-us, fighting-for-us – Him.
And that is why we celebrate Christmas. . . .