THE MIRROR PREACHER

by CHARLES ROBEY
(TRUSSVILLE AL)

PROLOGUE

I should probably just make a habit of writing every day about something dumb. At least, my faithful readers wouldn’t get bored, but on the other hand, it would probably be a good public service, just a look into life’s big mirror by way of my writing.

After being away on business, a man thought it would be nice to bring his wife a little gift. “How about some perfume?” he asked the cosmetics clerk.

She showed him a bottle costing $50.00. “That’s a bit much,” he said, so she returned with a smaller bottle for $30.00. “That’s still quite a bit,” he complained. Growing annoyed, the clerk brought out a tiny $15.00 bottle. “You know,” he said, “What I mean is that I’d like to see something really cheap.” The clerk handed him a mirror.” (sermoncentral.com)

What if a body decided to reinvent himself or herself by looking in that proverbial mirror of life? What would happen? What would take place? Absolutely northing! Nothing at all! The old body would still be just the same.

The wrinkles would still be there. The walk would still be unstable. The energy would still be lacking. The mind would still be on furlough. The appetite would still be at ease. The magnifier would still be required to access the evening newspaper. And the latrine would need to be close at hand.

You see, Scripture has given mankind a measuring rod of seventy years. Beyond that, comes our borrowed time. We all have lots of friends, vacationing on such borrowed time. We also know many who did not make the cut.

“We live for 70 years, or 80 years if we're healthy, yet even in the prime years there are troubles and sorrow. They pass by quickly and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)

One need only read life’s reflections given in the Bible by the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, to get a reflection of life’s ruination. So, here's a consideration. Live life as long as you can, as happy as you can, as religious as you can. Hug your grand-children. And never regret a moment. Never look back.

Sit back, grab an RC Cola and Moon Pie, and enjoy this fictitious musing entitled “The Mirror Preacher.”

I didn’t realize it, how the time had gone by. They say time flies because we are always trying to kill it. I agree. It seems I went to bed in my fifties and awoke in my seventies.

Living alone has somewhat taken the starch out of the collar of my life, I guess. I hate it, but I must go ahead and get it over with, my daily mirror scrutiny. I do need to shave, as it's been several days now, since I got up the nerve to face that enormous mirror monster.

Then it happened, by means of an unusual vision. “Why me? I’m too old for this type adventure. This just can’t be happening to me. If only I were to wake up, it would all end. But it didn’t, I found myself standing in front of a mirror. Not my usual mirror image, but one of a highly distinguished physical character. It was pure enchantment, that majestic mirror. I was much younger. I hate to brag, but I was sort of handsome, standing there in my gym workout garb.

That new mirror image wasn’t as strange as what followed. What really set me back was what I observed in the mirror background. There he was, an impressive gentleman of the highest regard, superbly standing at parade rest. His shining, respectful characteristics seemed to be glancing off the mirror glass, transforming him into real life.

He was standing there dressed in some sort of primitive medieval battle garb, with a sword fixed to his ornate belt. What really drew my attention was the old well-worn New Testament Bible he pulled out from underneath his big combat belt.

Opening this Bible caused another miracle. Appearing in my mirror was a sharp flash of light followed by white smoke filling the mirror surrounding a highlighted written inscription, “What Is Your Purpose in Life?”

“Sir, I don’t know who you are, and I certainly don’t understand what this mirror writing is all about,” I spoke quickly upon seeing this character's smiling mirror face.

He quickly responded, “The Bible is clear as to what our purpose in life should be. Both the Old and

New Testament characters ask this same question. Let us simply ask this same question of the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon. He may have a conclusion to the matter,” he said as he began reading from the book of Ecclesiastes.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter, fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. “(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

The stranger then continued speaking in a discourse befitting his garb with Old English dialogue.

“In other words, my good man, Solomon is saying life is all about honoring God with our thoughts and lives. Being sure to keep His commandments. One day we will all stand before Him in judgment, whether good or bad. So our purpose of life is to fear God and obey Him," he concluded.

“But why me, kind sir? If you knew anything about me, if you could only look into my life’s mirror, you would see that I attend our Sunday church service frequently, when my golf game is rained out. I always pay my fair share to the church. I even visit the widows and orphans when I get the time," I responded pridefully.

“So, I ask you, why are you so fixed on this looking glass, my good friend?" he answered. "Do you actually think it will alter your age, your growth, or your character? Doesn’t Scripture explain that now you are seeing through a glass darkly, but in the future, you will see face to face?” He read another Scripture passage. (James 1:23-25)

“Okay, sir. You got me there. Now will you please tell me who you are, and why you are here in my humble abode? Are you a real preacher man and why are you preaching to me through my mirror?" I queried.

Not only did I not get an answer, he was no longer in my mirror. He was done, and so was all that scripted mirror writing. The vision had left me. When the smoke cleared, there I was, Not that young handsome fine-looking fellow, but my true self, beard and all.

Looking in my mirror background, I caught a glimpse of my open Bible, lying by my bed side. Picking it up I began to read. There it was a perfect description of my strange companion, battle garb and all. (Ephesians 6:13-17).

What did I do next? I followed my Bible’s corresponding instructions through all those big crocodile flowing tears, praying on my knees. (Ephesians 6:18).

What a lesson I learned that day! "Pastor, pastor, we need to talk. Are you in your study? Please pick up."

EPILOGUE
I trust you enjoyed this brief true-to-life fiction story. Now, don’t go and take down all your household mirrors, it was only a parable. Nonetheless, I do hope you got the meat of the blog message.

Mirrors can be very dangerous for proud people. Mirrors are not just things that hang on our walls. Much like this fiction parable, oftentimes we may stand in front of our mirror, and dream away. But the enchantment ends up being a narcissistic obsession, temporarily changing our self-image into a thing of beauty.

And much like our story, the gospel we need could very well be divinely viewed in our mind’s mirrors as if we looked through a window. That’s what the Bible is. Not a make-believe mirror; but a divinely led window. It is through the Bible that we come to see reality and where we seek God’s instructions. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Yes, God’s Word, the Bible, is the only reliable mirror that tells us truthfully what we are like before God. Other mirrors may flatter us, but God’s looking glass tells it like it is!

One particular observation about mirrors, they never lie. What you see is what you get. (Proverbs 27:19) One reason I hate getting a haircut is having to look into that painfully truthful mirror in front of me. Surely, they have painted in all those wrinkles in hopes of selling me that cosmetic facial makeover.

Oh well, the next time I visit my local barber, I’ll simply close my eyes and dream away while the hair gets cut. And oh yes, maybe I’ll just recite some of my well-known Bible passages in silence, while I am getting beautified. Amen!

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