1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
There is a mirror in my living room that is warped. My late wife bought it at an import store, and it has this very interesting hand-carved and painted wooden frame. But because of the warping of the wood, the surface of the mirror is slightly bowed, and so looking at yourself in that mirror is kind of like looking in a funhouse mirror – your image is a little stretched, a little different than the real you.
Back in the days of the apostle Paul, things were even worse. They didn’t have glass mirrors, only polished metal. And depending on the materials and the craftsman who made it, a mirror could make you look a little more or a lot less like yourself. Even today, no mirror or optical glass is perfectly smooth, perfectly reflective and refractive, perfect at portraying an image. There will always be flaws.
Our lives are like that, never quite perfectly reflecting the image of God. Even when Christ was among us, although His actions plainly displayed the glory of God, His body and His face did not. It was only on the Mount of Transfiguration that Peter, James and John saw Him in His glory, when “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” (Matthew 17:2) Jesus had laid His glory aside and came “in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7)
This world is a dim reflection, and when “that which is perfect has come” we will see things differently. (1 Corinthians 13:10) The veil over our eyes will be lifted and the glory of the Lord will no longer be reflected off the imperfect surface of our mortal lives. What we think of today as broad daylight will seem like we have been walking in the light reflected off the broken surface of the moon. And when Christ returns:
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
If we are the ones who hear and obey the voice of God, if we are the ones who seek His face, then we will be numbered among the righteous. And then it is WE who will “shine forth as the sun,” no longer a dim reflection but the very sons and daughters of God, bearing His image forever more.
Our Father in heaven, we praise you for Your goodness and mercy, that you would come to this world we have broken and seek to make us perfect in Your eyes. I pray, Lord God, that I may see Your face more each day reflected in my own life, and that others will see You in me and wish to know You better. Use me to reflect Your glory, Lord, for I have none of my own. Amen.