On a recent hike, I took this photo of a small mountain and cloudy sky reflected in a lake. It is a beautiful scene, but if you look closely at the reflection, you would note that it is not a perfect reflection by any means. In fact, you might say, “Father, why did you use that photo? There are so many perfect reflection photos available and this one is far from perfect.”
I chose this imperfect reflection for a singular purpose. There was a slight breeze blowing across the lake that morning which caused that imperfection. A breeze will bring small ripples across the surface of the water and the image is slightly distorted.
In my efforts to “reflect” Christ in my life, the “breezes” of this world blow across my life and I fall short of perfection. When those breezes become winds and even storms of life, I can begin reflecting frustrations and anger. Yet when we make the attempt to “reflect” the Lord through our lives, it is beautiful, imperfect for sure, but beautiful none the less. So how do we reflect the Lord in our lives?
Consider this verse of Holy Scripture: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
In reality, there is only One Who is the LIGHT. Jesus said clearly: “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) The only true light that can shine forth from us is the reflected light of Christ in our lives. Christ is in us and our light is the Light of Jesus shining through us. It is reflected in our actions, in our words, and even in our thoughts.
Reflecting the light of Christ in this way, takes effort. For me, it doesn’t just happen because I got up this morning. I may pray: “Lord let my thoughts be Your thoughts; let the words of my mouth be Your words; let my hands be Your hands.” A beautiful prayer to start the day. But those breezes will come and my thoughts may wander, my words may betray my pride, and my hands may become an “angry fist” while driving. Those failures reveal the imperfection of my reflection of Christ.
I may be distorting my reflection of Christ by my foolish pride, my anger, my fears…in fact, the “breezes” of this world may have distorted the reflection I had hoped to have throughout the day. Those breezes may be brought about by the movie I watched last night or the news I listened to this morning. In fact, there are so many potential breezes in my life that it is a wonder that I could ever actually reflect the light of my Lord. And yet, the Lord continues to call me to let His light shine through me and reflect Him to this world.
If those “breezes” become winds and a storm in your life, remember that our Lord calmed the winds and the storm. We can reflect Christ any time and any place by focusing on Him and not on the breezes, winds, or storms.
One summer, many years ago, I was working with 40 teenagers in a secular program. Before the summer began, I selected Matthew 5:16 as my goal for the summer. I began each day reciting this verse and continued repeating it to myself throughout the day. I learned to love each of those teens and gave myself to doing everything I could for them. I never preached at them; I just loved them. By summer’s end, 30 of them had committed their lives to the Lord. It taught me a lifelong lesson, that if we can stay focused on reflecting the light of the Lord through our lives, people will notice and God will be honored.
This week, I encourage you to start each day with that verse: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Be mindful of the breezes in your life and let that verse be your focus each day. Let’s see what takes place in your world.