Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Those are the words the evil queen and stepmother speaks into her magic mirror in the 1812 Grimm Brother’s fairytale of Snow White. We all look into mirrors often hoping to see someone else instead of the image starring back at us with all our imperfections. We want to be viewed as ideal and beautiful. The Aramaic translation for the word ‘identity’ in this scripture verse is ‘as if you were people who wear their bodies.” Can we wear the bodies of a prisoner? If you have seen pictures of prisoners or been inside a prison, you know prisoners are not known for their ideal or glamorous good looks. And their language, personalities and manners are often coarse and rough. Being a prisoner locked in a wheelchair or in a bed due to physical injuries and health challenges can be equally grim. Paul is asking for us to be mindful of those who have been imprisoned and to wear their suffering. We may sometimes look at ourselves peering back in the mirror as being trapped, but being incarcerated in a penitentiary is a whole different world.
Can we take on the image of those imprisoned when we look into a mirror?
In our day to day lives that we often complain about, can we step back and take a look at ourselves in the mirror and see the bounty of goodness and grace that God has given to us and be grateful? Can we be so grateful that our hearts break for those who have made choices that have placed them in prison situations? Can we be mindful also of the many who suffer outside prison walls – parents, kids and other loved ones and friends when someone is imprisoned? Can we be equally mindful of those who have been wrongly placed in prisons? There are many who are suffering globally in prisons for doing nothing more than believing in God and practicing their faith today.
Can we pray?
We are told that our prayers are powerful and effective (James 5:16). As Christians, we are called to pray for those in dark and horrific places. When we look into the mirror each day, can we see the face of someone who is suffering, feel their pain, say a prayer and look for ways to support both those inside and outside prison walls? We are all God’s children and all have sinned. We’ve all lost our way, been abandoned, abused and need the saving grace and mercy of God. We don’t always know the answer to the question of why we suffer, but we do know that the answer is always to let love lead our lives. I Corinthians 13:12 tells us, For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So, above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.
Mirror Mirror on the wall, who can I love and pray for today?
Identify with those who are in prison as though you were there suffering with them, and those who are mistreated as if you could feel their pain. Hebrews 13:3 (TPT)