Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REFLECTION (10/10/19)
- TITLE: The Face in the Mirror
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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I stared at the person in the mirror for quite some time. I scarcely recognized her. I raised my eyebrows. “Well, God, you have some sense of humor.” Yet it didn’t make me smile. I had hated my red hair and freckles as a kid. Now it looked more mousy brown than the beautiful strawberry-blonde I saw in pictures. Now in the mirror, I spotted some streaks that I guess one would call gray. The weirdest part was my hair didn’t turn gray per se. Strands actually turned black and was super wiry.
The worst part was the part the mirror didn’t show. My inside felt uglier than my outside. I felt like a failure, a stupid fat ugly failure who couldn’t seem to do anything right. I banged my head against the mirror. It cracked and splintered out in a web. This really distorted what I was seeing. I shivered as I thought about the superstition about seven years of bad luck. Just great! I really need things to get even worse.
Squinting, I saw some blood dripping down the mirror. I leaned in closer to inspect the cut on my forehead. Wiping the cut off, I suddenly saw my eyes in a new light. They didn’t look like my normal muggy-blue, but more of a pale, beautiful, sky-blue. Like my mom had. But she’d been gone for twenty-five years. Goosebumps popped out on my arm. “Mom, is that you?”
When I saw the reflection nod, I worried that I had bashed my head harder than I thought. I held my breath as I examine the person in the mirror. I stumbled backwards when an angelic voice filled the room.
“Oh my darling daughter. Why are you so bitter?”
Blinking my eyes and shaking my head, I mumbled, “Great. I’m totally wacko. You’re dead.” The reflection seemed to smile. I leaned closer. “I’m not hallucinating, am I?” Suddenly it felt like someone’s arms wrapped around me. Tinkle ran down my spine.
The mysterious voice spoke again. “Can’t you see how beautiful you are? Sure you’ve grown older. That’s a blessing, considering the other choice. You’re still on earth to be a mom to your kids.”
I shrugged and rolled my eyes. I was sure the reflection in the mirror raised her right eyebrow. I always envied Mom’s ability to give that look. We kids knew she meant business when that eyebrow shot up. “But the kids are all adults. They don’t need me anymore.”
Her eyebrow shot up another inch. “They still need you. How many times have you wished I was still here over the years? They just need you in a different way.”
Licking my lips, I knew she was right. Plus I had two wonderful grandchildren. Maybe I’m not totally useless.
The reflection smiled. “So many people need you. Jesus knows you are struggling right now. And I know if you pray and ask him, he’ll give you that strength you need to get over this rough patch. You are so beautiful in his eyes. He doesn’t see the weight gain, the wrinkles, or the patchy bits of gray and black. He sees your heart. The way you love others. The times you help a friend figure out a problem even though you are in unbelievable pain. He sees the you he made you to be. He believes in you, even when you can’t even begin to have faith in yourself. He loves you more than you can ever imagine.”
Tears rolled down my face, and soon I was sobbing. My heart didn’t feel as heavy and an idea for a story popped into my head. I wiped away the tears, leaned back to the mirror. For a second, I felt disappointment wash over me again. Mom’s eyes were gone and just my eyes looked back at me. The cool thing though, I could still feel those arms cradling me. I realized it was Jesus who embraced me.
I wasn’t positive, but I thought he replied, “I know. You’re welcome. And I love you too.”
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