In Alice Fryling’s book, Mirror for the Soul, she writes about Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice in Wonderland. I’m not sure I knew there was a sequel. In the Looking Glass House, books can only be read when reflected a mirror because the words are written backwards. Fryling’s book is on the enneagram and she uses that analogy as a way to talk about her fondness for that particular tool for self-discovery and her perception of its value.
I would say that the scriptures have done the same thing for me (and the enneagram too for that matter). More accurately, are doing the same thing for me. God’s word provides a grand epic panoramic story that often serves as a backdrop for our own mite-sized narratives. Oftentimes I experience it as a Looking Glass House mirror. It puts “me” in context; it takes my backward self and turns me around.
I was ashamed of the way I didn’t handle the abusive situation when the older woman spoke so rudely to the slightly less older volunteer. I felt like I didn’t stand up for someone who had stood up for my children. She had been an able teacher and for one child in particular, a valuable mentor. And when she was publicly humiliated I did nothing but hold her gaze and lamely attempt to communicate my silent rage. This doesn’t fit well with that panoramic vision for life I’ve been reading about for decades. Of the three of us, I was the greatest offender.
Where to go from here? Back to the drawing board. I cannot forget the things that are behind me, as Paul suggests in the scripture below, but I also know that needless rumination isn’t healthy either. Maybe, just maybe, I can learn from my mistake(s).
Learning from this past experience has been an actionable item on my “to do” list for exactly one year. When I arrive at my polling precinct and immediately am confronted with another scene, there’s only one sensible thing to do. Pray – “God, you are killing me here. Seriously?”
Join me as we go back to the beginning of this grand epic tale and see what God might have me do on election day in light of all we know about who God is and what he is up to.
Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me.
~ Philippians 3:13 CEB