Mirror mirror

“Magic Mirror on the Wall, who is the Fairest one of all?” – the wicked Queen, Snow White, Disney, 1937

Do you ask yourself the same question when you look in the mirror?  The mirror does not answer back, of course.  But sometimes, the haunting echoes of the harsh criticisms of parents, the taunts of school yard bullies or disdain of your co-workers, all magnified by the powerful delusions of beauty perpetuated by the marketing machinery of our world, will reverberate in our consciousness.

I have been reading in Psalms 139 recently, which is so often quoted it has become a bit cliche.  But I found some truths that I hadn’t seen before, and I think that they reveal the hero that we have been longing for, to help restore our battered self-esteem and rebuild our self-worth.

The whole psalm is worth meditating on (http://bit.ly/S31K).  But the part that caught my attention was verses 13-16.  Verse 13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  The hebrew reads, “Qanah kilyah cakak ‘em beten.”  qanah means “to erect, to found” like setting up, or founding a charity.  kilyah is the hebrew word for kidneys, which in ancient times were a metaphor for the innermost desires of a person.  And cakak is the word which meant “to weave branches together to make a hedge”, hence, “to protect.”  So God laid out your innermost desires as a foundation, and then covered you and protected you in your mothers womb.

Verse 14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  In Hebrew this is “Yadah yare palah”.  Yadah is a word for praise but specifically refers to “hands to God” and in Davids time when the word was spoken it was accompanied by throwing ones hands in the air in praise, a little bit like Hiro off “Heroes” when he gets excited.  Yare means, “to be fearful or feared, to cause astonishment and awe, to be held in awe, to inspire reverence or Godly fear.”  So when the verse refers to “fear”, it refers to something so awe-inspiring that it brings Godly reverence.  Palah  means to be distinct, marked out, distinguished or admirable.  Putting these three Hebrew words together, my paraphrase is “I can’t help but shout and lift my hands because I am your masterpiece, a one-off, unique creation, that brings you reverence and admiration.”

If you stand in front of the mirror every morning and, no matter how silly you think you look, lift your hands and shout, “I am God’s masterpiece”, I don’t think thoughts of inadequacy or ugliness will stay for long.

Remember, to God, you are the fairest in the land.  Don’t wait for the mirror to respond, but see what God sees, and shout it out.  Pretty soon the words of God will begin to reverberate within your consciousness instead of the lies of inadequacy and self-doubt. And you will begin to see just why God think of you as his masterpiece.

(Originally posted to abundancehc.com/abundance/Logos/Entries/2009/5/10_Mirror_Mirror.html 10/5/2009 and edited and updated 18/8/2011)

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3 Responses to Mirror mirror

  1. Shirley Gibney says:

    One of my favorite passages. Thank you for giving me a deeper perspective of it. Keep it up. Your words are so encouraging.

  2. Dee Dee says:

    I don’t think you should try to take fear out of the translation of רא , yare.
    Fear of God is fundamental to faith.
    Here a few of many that can be found (especially in the Old Testament)
    Exodus 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

    Exodus 14:31 Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

    Leviticus 25:17 You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the LORD your God.

    • I didn’t take fear out of the translation of the hebrew word yare. Yare can be defined in a number of ways from the original text and which reflect different levels and aspects of the word. The extreme reverence for God as I suggested is but one way of interpreting the original, and I believe more related to the context of the verse. I could show you many verses where God and the love of God trumps over the fear element every time. Don’t forget that God is a God of Grace and Love. I suggest you read 1 John 4. Good luck on your journey

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