Southern Style:The mirror reflects only what it sees

tsj column writers - southern styleBy Randall Franks

Many of us find ourselves each morning at least for a few minutes peering into a silver backed piece of glass which reflects back towards us the mirror image of ourselves.

We see the teeth as we brush, the pores of our skin as we wash our face, shave, and/or trim the hairs which grew out since the day before. Finally, we put each hair left on top of our head in place with a comb or a brush.

Then off we go to dress and then we pop back in for one last look before we run off to meet the day and all that entails.

As the day progresses, we will stop by other bathrooms like a racing car making a pit stop, and once again we will have a moment to peer into the silver backed glass to see if all is still in its proper place.

These are rituals that we have been taught passed from parents, siblings, friends and they are common to most every human being who has access to such an opportunity.

As a child, at amusement parks and fairs, I can remember going through a house of mirrors which distorts the mirror image to make us look short or tall, skinny or fat, oddly shaped in all forms and sizes. It was always a laugh to see yourself or your companions going through the metamorphosis of illusions that the fun house mirrors reflected.

The present day mirror was brought to us from the work of German chemist Justus von Liebig about 180 years ago. For nearly 200 years, human beings found the looking glass a means of self-discovery.

I have often heard people say something to the effect of ‘You won’t be able to look at yourself in the morning.’ I really wonder how many of us take that to heart.

Have you ever really looked in a mirror and tried to see beyond the superficial image of yourself staring back? Have you tried to look down into your own heart, soul and mind to see if what is reflected upon that image is something you really want to see or you want others to see of you?

We all have blemishes, scars, warts, sores and sometimes wounds that can be seen when we look close enough that we want to cover over and hid from the outside world. No matter how much concealer that is used, they eventually once again rise to the surface trying to once again draw your or someone else’s attention.

I guess no matter how hard we try, we must learn to live with those and become comfortable in our own skin allowing all those imperfections not to bother us or anyone else. God did not create vessels of perfection in human beings. He created people who have the opportunity to strive for perfection despite the brokenness within their lives and their souls.

The image in the mirror will never be perfect, to strive for that is an exercise in vanity but to use the mirror to step closer to internal perfection might be an interesting step into the looking glass.

Randall Franks is an award-winning musician, singer and actor. He is best known for his role as “Officer Randy Goode” on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night” now on WGN America. His latest CD release, “Mississippi Moon,” is by Crimson Records. He is a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame. His latest book is “Encouragers II : Walking with the Masters.” He is a syndicated columnist for http://randallfranks.com/ and can be reached at rfrankscatoosa@gmail.com.

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