Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The Magic Mirror
“Romper, Bomper, Stomper, Boo.
Tell me, tell me, tell me, Do…
Are my friends havng fun today?”
Miss Rosemary would sit on her Romper Room couch in her Romper Room classroom in the TV in our living room, and recite this incantation as she gazed through the screen (and through an empty, circular frame), at her “magic mirror” that enabled her to see many of her small fans at home as they sat, raptly watching her.
“I see Billy, and Susie, and, oh! There’s Fred… I hope you’re feeling better Fred! And there’s Ann and Taylor, and…” Miss Rosemary would run down the roster of urchins in attendance (some of whose parents must have dropped her a line regarding the status of their offspring so that she could be more specific.)
I confess that I wasn’t much of a Romper Room fan, and I didn’t pay much attention to Miss Rosemary. Possibly because she NEVER saw me… but the idea of a magical device that would allow one to see others across vast broadcast distances did hold some appeal. It seemed too, that Miss Rosemary’s mirror not only enabled her to bridge distances, but it somehow filtered what she saw… there was never a “Uh Oh! I see little Dennis sneaking into the cookie jar!” or “Woops! Kit is NOT doing his homework!” (I told you she never saw ME!). Miss Rosemary, employing her mirror only seemed to see the positive and the good in her young audience. There’s something to be said for that.
I’m not talking about some syrupy, sugar-coated distortion of reality, where all is goodness and light, but an honest, and real assessment of who it is that God created when we look at the people around us.
Our high-school small group has embarked on an adventure (or at least an experiment) recently, in which we’re attempting to look at those around us as Jesus would see them, and then to treat them accordingly. This by no means requires seeing only the good, or overlooking faults or errors, but rather, “considering the source” of all these… a source that is the Creator of everything in the universe… a source that is ultimately and infinitely good… and loving. Imagine, just for a minute what it would be like to be in a room full of people with Jesus’ perspective on one another… recognizing that each person is in fact, one of the best creatures that God ever created, and holding each in a regard that is founded in complete and unconditional love and acceptance…
What would that feel like, how would it be to know that even if we messed up, that there would be loving correction and forgiveness? That we are accepted, and valued not for who we think we should be, not for “measuring up,” but for simply being what we were created to be. And imagine the incentive to discover the extent of that creation… to actually strive to live out the life set before us… completely free in that love.
Not possible? Well, in Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 4, Verse 17, Jesus tells us to "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." Dallas Willard teaches that we have a lot to do with where we stand in relation to the Kingdom. Our attitudes and consequent behaviors determine how close we stand to or within that Kingdom… so perhaps our adventure will offer at least a taste, if not a sojourn.
It isn’t easy though… the temptation is to forgive too quickly (which isn’t really very loving), or to fall into the trap of “societal norms” which condone sarcasm, and put downs, and ‘one-upsmanship’ humor. Fundamentally, seeing and appreciating each other AS WE WERE CREATED, is pretty tough stuff… but then, I guess God made pretty tough folks… stay tuned.