I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror. I had just come back from visiting my father. I know I shouldn’t be saying this. It sounds so vain. After all, I’m no prize to look at. What struck me though was the fact that I could see my father in my reflection. He and I have the same eyes and mouth. Every time I looked at him, I saw myself.
I guess it is only natural. They say that if you want to know what your future wife or husband will look like, you should look at their parents. It all has to do with the genes. That’s why it is not unusual to find siblings who share physical characteristics and mannerisms with each other. It’s all in the family and it’s all good.
Yet, we are not clones. Even if we look similar, you can find great differences in many areas. My dad often wears jeans and flannel shirts. I wear suits and ties. He likes farming. He’s good with his hands and enjoys working outdoors. I can’t build a thing. I’m more comfortable working on the computer or reading books.
I was mentioning this to my wife. Lori is always direct. She pointed out that my dad doesn’t look like me. I look like him. He came first. She was right. He was the original and I’m the junior replica. That’s when it hit me. A lot of us do the same thing when we think about God. We get it backwards.
We picture God looking and acting a lot like us. We imagine God liking the things we like. We envision God engaging in the world just like we we do. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We’ve turned it upside down. God is the original. We were created by him to reflect his glory and his righteousness.
When the world sees us it is supposed to see God in us. We were made to reflect all that is good and right in our Heavenly Father. I love the song that Amy Grant made famous a few years back. It was called “Father’s Eyes.” The chorus began with these words:
“When people look inside my life I want to hear them say...
“She’s got her Father’s eyes, eyes that find the good in things, when good is not around. Eyes that find the source of help, when help just can’t be found. Eyes full of compassion seeing every pain, knowing what you’re going through and feeling it the same. Just like my Father’s eyes.”
That’s our calling. I don’t know about you, but I want to have my father’s eyes and his heart and his hands and feet too. When people see us, I hope they will see a reflection of our Father in us and in all we do. When that happens, God’s glory will be all around and people will know who our Father is.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.