by Andrew Sbarra

Robert woke to find himself in a room full of mirrors. He walked up and down the rows of mirrors noticing his reflection in each mirror that he passed. As he turned down the next row of mirrors, there in front of him was a single stone. That’s odd, Robert thought to himself. How did this stone get in this room?

Robert reached down and picked up the stone. As he held and examined the stone in his hand, he got the slightest urge to throw it at one of the mirrors. He knew he shouldn’t but he also pondered, who would know? No one will hear for there is no one else here. Robert threw the stone and one of the mirrors shattered to pieces.

“That felt good, exhilarating even” he said to himself. As he turned to continue down the row of mirrors, there, where he had picked up the single stone, there was another. The sight bewildered Robert, but a small voice inside of him cheered at the opportunity to smash another mirror, so he did.

As it turned out, every time he broke a mirror, another stone appeared. Over time there would be multiple stones and bigger stones, stones with sharp edges that Robert would drag across the glass as he skipped and ran down each row, all the while admiring the distorted and abstract person now starring back at him in the mirrors. It only took moments for Robert to either break or alter every mirror.

Then in the far end of the room, beyond the devastation, there hung an enormous mirror on the wall. Robert walk up to it and upon looking into it, he grew angry. He looked around him and as before a stone that wasn’t there before magically appeared. Robert took the stone and catapulted it at the mirror. However, to his surprise, the mirror did not break. Robert reached down and picked up another stone which had appeared as the others and threw it, but again the mirror did not shatter. Robert began to breathe heavier and the anger within him now mixed with an anxious tension and began to boil within his gut. Robert, now surrounded by an arsenal of stones, began an all-out assault on the mirror. Each stones he threw was larger than the last, more jagged than the last, so much so that his hands began to bleed from gripping the stones with such force. Still the mirror would not shatter or receive the slightest imperfection. Now instead of stones, there were bricks, hammers, steel pipes, and other heavy objects. Robert swung with all of his might, kicked and punched at the mirror, but the reflection was just as clear and unscathed as before.

Robert dropped to his knees exhausted from his battle. He looked up at his reflection in the mirror and as he did, the tension from his face softened and all of the anger came out in tears. He looked back at all of the mirrors he had broken and guilt flooded to his throat and his heart grew weak. He searched through the rummage for one of the sharp stones and when he found it he dragged it across his skin. His arm and shirt turned red and he looked back at the mirror on the wall to see the pain he felt, however when he did, there was no sign of his infliction. In fact, when he looked down at his arm and his clothes they, like the mirror, were unharmed as if it had never happened. Further, the room was completely empty now except for Robert and the large mirror on the wall. Every shattered piece of glass, every mirror he had broken, every weapon he had used against them vanished. Robert looked at the person in the mirror and he felt uncomfortable, but he knew what he saw was right. As the shame of what he did slowly left him, peace took its place.

Our lives are full of mirrors, meaning, opportunities to see God around and in us. In this story, the big mirror represents God and the reference of reflection symbolizes that we were meant to to be a reflection of God; “So God created humans in His image” -Genesis 1:27 (NLT).

In life, it is little sins which may feel good or innocent (the single small stone) that begin to distort our reflection of Christ to the world and ourselves. As we choose to follow our selfish and sinful desires those stones, regardless of how small they are, stop us from doing what’s right. As we continue acting out in sin, the sins get bigger which allow us to forget who we are in Christ, even feel anger towards ourselves and God, and the consequences are hurt, anxiousness, guilt, doubt, shame, pride; everything we weren’t meant to carry.

All the bad choices we make lead to a lot of broken mirrors. However, there is good news, we serve and have access to a gracious and loving God and “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8 (NLT). Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are no longer slaves and chained to the hurt, anxiousness, guilt, doubt, shame, Pride, etc. if you find yourself in a season of destruction, take heart in this, “nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” -Romans 8:28 (NLT)