Every morning, this scene plays out in my bathroom. (No, not that scene. I am not about to depict something you will need ten years and therapy to unsee. Trust me.)
The scene is our smallest cat, who follows me in lest she miss any possible action in the house. I close the door. She spies the full-length mirror on the back of the door. And she jumps at it. For five minutes, that cat bats, swipes, jumps, paws, and sniffs at the mirror and at that strange black and gold tiny cat inside it.
Which I found odd, considering she does it every day. I mean, you'd think that, after a while, the cat would catch on. Dude, that other cat? It's you. She's always there. Always. It's not a totally weird coincidence. You will never get to play with the cat in the mirror.
Until I looked at it from the cat's perspective. To a cat, a mirror means nothing. Cats are not, as discussed at the dinner table the other night, sentient beings. (Really. We do discuss these things. I am raising productive citizens who know more words than LOL and BTW.) The cat has no self-consciousness, therefore no concept of a “me” as opposed to the rest of the living world. When she looks at a mirror, she doesn't see a “me.” She can't. So, to her, it's another cat. In her space. A friend who won't come out to play.
Which made me think . . . (what? You don't do deep thinking in the bathroom?)
What if we could live like that? What if we had no concept of a mirror as the end-all depiction of “me”? What if we got another perspective?
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13.12)
What if we remember that we really do have no concept of what we look like? We think we do. We judge ourselves by it. Constantly. But what if—what if we remembered that a being waaay higher than ourselves has the real deal on what we look like and who we are?
The cat has no idea what she truly looks like. Neither do we. When we look in a mirror, do we see this?
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3.18)
I, too, bat at the mirror in displeasure. Maybe it's because I see only dimly what I want to see—what I will be. Here and now, it's frustrating. But perspective—perspective tells me I'm being gloriously transformed. Daily. We dare not miss it in our furious batting away at something that isn't real.