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Reflections on reflection.

Earlier this week I spent a peaceful morning at a gorgeous state park not far from my house. The turmoil in my oversaturated life was in stark contrast to my surroundings, which were reminiscent of Thoreau’s Walden Pond. As I slowly walked through the woods, I could feel my stress dissipate. I could sense that my weary soul was trying to poke through the clouds of my circumstances, and I was relieved.

Near the end of my hike, I found a picnic bench near a pond. A huge tulip poplar tree hung over the water in front of me, and within seconds I was drawn to something I’d never seen before. A slight wind was blowing, creating tiny wrinkles on the pond. From the water, gold reflections of light rippled up the tree’s huge leaves and onto its branches. It was like watching the Northern Lights on a cold winter night. For 5 or 10 minutes I could do nothing but stare at the light show…amazed.

Then it dawned on me.

Water has no light properties at all. If I were to sit in that same spot on a moonless night, I wouldn’t even be able to tell I was sitting near water. It can create no light. Water is, however, perfectly created to reflect light. In water, a blinding light source can create an equally blinding reflection.

The same is true of you and me.

We hold no inherent lighting properties. Left to ourselves, we can be dark and murky. But God, in his grace, created us to reflect His light perfectly. He “is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) When we are positioned in His presence, the light of His glory reflects onto those around us, creating a breathtakingly beautiful light show of grace, mercy and love.

In 1 Corinthians 3:18, Paul casts a beautiful vision: “Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” (The Message)

May it be true of you and me.




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