April 28, 2014
It’s one of those funny things, what Facebook does for you. It’s true, I graduated from high school nearly five decades ago, and I haven’t seen some of those people all that much since then. Once in a while, one of us from that graduation class finds another on Facebook, and it’s always such a surprise. He or she doesn’t look the same. Like, where did all that white hair come from, or those rounded out curves, or laugh wrinkles, shall we call them? Then it occurs to me, that’s what they probably say when they see my photos, but when I see those pictures of myself, they don’t look all that different.
That’s because it happened so gradually that I never saw a sharp change in the mirror, and maybe too because I stopped looking all that closely. Oh, I look close enough to put on some moisturizer, some lipstick and even a little eye makeup, but that mirror engagement is purely tactical, did I smear the lipstick or eyeliner?
Is that because I don’t really want to see what I do look like to others, like I might be afraid of the truth if I looked for it? Evidence that all those years had passed? Then it occurred to me that confession, real confession is kind of like really looking into a mirror, looking closely with an intent to see what is there. And if you find something you have to do something about it.
That’s what happened to me this last week. I am still studying confession, and this last week it got personal. I was challenged to look back into my life and see if there was anything that I may be hanging onto that is weighing me down, anything I needed to make right. Now. there’s an exercise that can make you want to go take a walk or vacuum or read another book.
But I did it, and will probably be doing it some more. The point is, there were some things that I could make right, so I screwed up the courage and made a couple of phone calls. Actually, they went pretty well, but today as I type this, I wonder if there isn’t more, and maybe it isn’t so much that I need to confess these things to make me feel better but because I need to humble myself before someone else. Maybe God might use that exercise of my humility in my life and in someone else’s.
I said, back when we were missionaries, that God did not take us to Africa because the Chadians needed us so much, but because that was what God was going to use in my life to make me more like Christ, to grow me. And now, I think that’s what is happening in retirement and with mirrors and confession. I am not here because it is time to relax and read more books, but to use the quiet to see how God wants me to grow now…and as uncomfortable as it is sometimes, I am glad He is still in the growing business.