May 9, 2010
EASTER VI (C)
My peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
- John 14: 27
There is an old song entitled “No Mirrors in My Nana’s House.” You may not know the song or ever heard about it, but it has an interesting origin. A little girl grew up in her grandmother’s house in a very poor neighborhood. She said her grandmother’s house had no mirrors. One of her friends asked, “Then how did you know what you looked like?”
“Well,” said the little girl, “my Nana told me. You see, every morning I would get up & get dressed & comb my hair, & then I would go to Nana & I would say, ‘How do I look?’ She would tell me I was beautiful. She said my skin was smooth & golden brown, kissed by the sun, & she said my eyes shone like silver moonbeams. In my Nana’s house, there were no mirrors, so I saw myself through my Nana’s eyes who loved me.”
How important it is to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes!
If we do not like our self, we can easily devalue our self & not trust what others say about us. If we are uncertain or timid about our self, we may not trust who we think we are. If we are too self-important, too full of our self, we have too distorted an opinion of our self & may discount what others say about us. Notice, all of this is centered around our ego.
Knowing that we are lovable, warts & all, is the most important thing there is to us humans. Nothing else can hold a candle to it. Even if we see ourselves through the eyes of Nana in the story, or the eyes of our parents or siblings, nothing is as important to us as discovering someone who may have been a stranger heretofore who can love us. That is truly a mind-blowing experience. But most awesome of all, is realizing that God loves us more than He judges us. There is even a name for this experience: conversion.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is speaking to his soon-to-be-bereaved friends, telling them not to be afraid, for the Father will make His dwelling in them & His Spirit will remind them (& us) of God’s love, God’s presence, & God’s gift of peace. Mostly, He is saying that they (& we) should remember to see themselves/ourselves through God’s eyes because, in God’s house, there are no mirrors.
It is mind-boggling to think that God sees something in us that we cannot see ourselves. Obviously, He knows something we do not. Why shouldn’t He? After all, He created us & knows us better than we know ourselves.
We need to remember this the next time we fail to live up to the expectations we have for ourselves & start beating up on ourselves & being down on ourselves. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter that we are not as handsome or as beautiful as movie stars, that we are not A students, that we are not considered “successful” as our materialistic, consumer culture defines success.
What is downright humbling is that the Creator of the universe thinks we are worth the price, however high it may be, to redeem us & bring us closer to Himself. Until we can genuinely accept this, our religion will remain hollow. If we do truly accept it, we will find that our faith is priceless. AMEN!