That’s probably a dumb question. Most people look in the mirror at least once a day and often more like several times a day. We use mirrors to judge our appearance. Is our hair in its proper place? Is there chocolate on my face after eating that piece of cake? Do I need to touch up my make up? Every house has at least one mirror and most have multiple mirrors. When we look in a mirror, we expect the image staring back at us to be an accurate reflection of us.
Not all mirrors work that way, though.
Have you ever been to a carnival or a circus? Sometimes those places will have mirrors that purposely distort the image reflected in it. This is meant to be for fun and make people laugh since carnivals and circuses exist for that purpose. One can hear the giggles of little children and the laughter of young adults as they see a tall, thin person turned into a short and round one or a short, round person suddenly stretched to be seven feet tall and pencil thin. No one actually believes that the image staring back at them from a carnival fun house mirror accurately reflects the person standing in front of it.
This morning, as I sat at my desk, tears streaming once again, I opened my Bible to the place I have been spending lots of time lately–the Book of Psalms. I turned to Psalm 13 and read the following: “How long O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” David had real enemies–people who wanted to take his life. David was looking for his God in the midst of being pursued by those who would seek to have him dead.
I don’t have people who are looking to take my life, but I do have a very present enemy. This enemy threatens my life often and is not only capable of, but regularly does, distort how I see life. Just as when one looks into a circus mirror and sees something that isn’t reality, my enemy, who goes by the name of depression, distorts the lens through which I view my world.
Depression mirrors back to me a false image of reality. Where others say that God will not leave nor forsake me, I fear that God has abandoned me. Where others see a situation that can be overcome, I see a situation that threatens to take me out of the game. Where others see hope, I see despair. While others may understand that nothing lasts forever, depression tells me that the problems I am facing are a permanent reality.
This is not the way I want to exist. As a child, I didn’t wish for this enemy named depression to distort the way that I see life. I also know this is not how God desires me to live my life. And yet, I feel so powerless against a powerful enemy.
The mirrors just keep reflecting back a distorted image. Only, I’m not laughing. I need to get away from these mirrors that distort my world and find ones that show a truer reflection of what God may be doing. That is so much easier said than done, though, when every lens one looks through shows a twisted and distorted world.