It was very early on a Saturday morning and I could hear my sister, Leisha, already rattling around in the kitchen, making coffee. By the time I got downstairs she was pouring the hot liquid into a thermos. A map of the town was on the counter and a strip of newspaper lay beside it with things highlighted and circled.

My sister is a very organized garage sale enthusiast and having someone to go along that day seemed to spur her on.  We set off with anticipation and it wasn't long before her early-bird-gets-the-worm philosophy paid off.  We were poking around in a large garage full of interesting stuff when I spotted a large oval mirror.  It was covered in a thick layer of dirt but it looked like it was about the size and shape that Leisha had said she wanted for above the fireplace in their home. I called her attention to it.  She pulled it out and her eyes lit up.  Then the negotiating started with the owner.  I was amazed at how low the price went and Leisha was beaming as she walked away with the deal of the day.

It was some time before I was able to visit again, and when I did, Leisha immediately called my attention to the space above the mantle on their fireplace.  My jaw dropped. The old mirror we'd found in that garage was beveled and the frame was solid oak. My brother-in-law had done a great job restoring it.  It looked beautiful.

The great thing about the mirror was that it made the room seem bigger and brighter, as mirrors are designed to do.  The reflection of a warm fire always made the room a comforting place to sit on a cool evening.  I thought of the layers of dirt that had coated it and wondered how long it had been sitting in that old garage, like a gem waiting to be discovered.

Then I realized that we are all, in a way, like that old mirror.  We've been used and abused and are often layered with the effects of sin and the trials of life.  How tremendously encouraging it is to know that God is in the business of finding the gems that are hidden.  How heartening it is to know that He is skilled at restoring minds and souls.  How blessed it is to believe that He can remove every speck of tarnish, heal the brokenness and make us all into reflections of His love and mercy.

That's the great thing about redemption - it reveals His image in us all.  Just as that mirror became a thing of beauty that enhanced the room, we become the true essence of God's creation, bringing His light and life to the world.  It is what we were all designed to do.  We are all meant to be mirrors that reflect His grace.  All we have to do is say yes to Jesus so that the work can begin.



A special thanks to Marcia for the use of this story. Marcia Lee Laycock writes a weekly emailed column, The Spur and her new devotional book, Focused Reflections is now available on her website
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