I saw an image today that captivated me. Carlos Whittaker had a great post the other day referencing a picture from the People of the Second Chance website. Go read it.
Ok. If you haven’t looked at it or read the blog, it shows a kind of scruffy young man in his mid twenties looking into a mirror and carving “f—up” into his neck.
A shocking image without question. In his article, Whittaker talks a little bit about his past. He says he’s had moments where he looked in the mirror and saw that exact image.
I know what he means.
That image is how I look right now, this very minute. Yet I am not defined by it. You might look at it and think it tells you something about who I am, and that is only partially true.
I look at that picture–or in a mirror for that matter–and I sometimes see the same thing the scruffy young man did. Like Whittaker, I have thought that word
and much worse about myself over the course of my life. It is only through the intercession of Christ that I know differently. His truth supersedes any lie I might believe about who I am based on how I perceive myself or how others perceive me.
I am not defined by the things I’ve done or that have been done to me.
I am defined by the life, death, and resurrection of a first century Nazarane carpenter.
So when I look in the mirror and see
Or something worse, the truth is that over those images is the face of Jesus.
His image is greater than any mask we might wear for a time.
His truth is greater than any lie, greater than any label. So before I pass judgement on myself or anyone else, I need to consider the actions of Jesus, taken on my behalf.
And on the behalf of whomever I might consider passing judgement.