John 12:44-46, “Then Jesus cried out, ‘Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (NIV).
This Scripture should be incredibly convicting to followers of Jesus, everywhere.
I might be a nerd (go ahead and replace “might be a” with “am,” if you need to), but the daily office inspired me to look for a simple explanation of how mirrors work, and I found exactly what I was looking for in the article, “How Mirrors Work.” (go figure)
Here are some thoughts:
“In order to understand mirrors, we first must understand light. The law of reflection says that when a ray of light hits a surface, it bounces in a certain way…”[i] Somewhere else I read that the angle of reflection is predictable—equal to the angle at which the light originally hits. I find this remarkable considering our propensity to ‘reflect’ Christ inadequately. If we really want the people who are looking at us to see Jesus; we have to push back against distortion, and I think the only way to do that is to transform… redeem… restore the surface off of which he is reflected.
Overall, “light itself is invisible until it bounces off something and hits our eyes.”[ii] When it bounces; the light scatters, and we interpret what is seen. But mirrors don’t work like this, because they are smooth, which means the incoming image is not disturbed.
And also… It’s common knowledge that a mirror image is ‘backwards,’ but as it turns out, this is not a switch from left to right but from front to back. So, “your mirror image is a light-print of you, not a reflection of you from the mirror's perspective.”[iii] Strangely, if we want to push through this metaphor, this would mean that our reflection is not, in fact, what we see but what Jesus sees, looking at us from behind. I’m pretty concerned that this might mean we are able to block others from seeing Jesus, entirely, if we won’t get out of the way.