A daughter’s eyes are like mirrors. A daughter’s eyes…they can be reflections of your very soul. She takes you in, then gives forth what she sees. Those moments you catch a glimpse of yourself in her…they can make you smile, and they can be downright sobering. She is, perhaps, the one mirror that doesn’t lie. Several mirrors strategically placed throughout the house, and the one that is the truest representation of me? Surely not any that are bolted tight to a wall. The one that is the most accurate is the one that moves, and by moving I don’t mean swaying crooked on the hanger. She moves with me, as I enter different rooms, different moods, different stages, capturing my best…and my worst.
Someone asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She proudly replies, “A Mom.” She believes being a mother is the most wonderful, most fulfilling career. I smile, because she’s right. I beam with delight, knowing she is able to see this truth in me. I giggle as she puts on her mini, matching apron and prepares to make chocolate chip cookies. She wants to do it all by herself, “like Mom does.” I smile, as I’ve prayed that she’d one day emulate my love of cooking for my family.
She’s laying out a new outfit to wear back to school, after Christmas break. Preparedness. Zeal. That’s my girl, I’m convinced. As I round the corner into the other room, I hear five little words that stop me in my tracks. “Now I can beat her.” (‘her’ had a name, but I’ll leave it out here) My feet screech to a halt and I back up until I can see her big hazel eyes looking up at me. “What did you say?” I ask. She repeats what I thought I heard, in a very sure tone. “Beat her in what, sweetie?” I investigate, hoping to find that she was describing some sort of game or P.E. activity at least. My dread is confirmed as she answers, “With my pretty, new outfit.”
Wait a minute. This is coming from the lips of a six year old child who judges no one. She is a fervent lover of all, this child. She walks around with the doors of her heart flung wide open, ready and willing to accept any and all. This is coming from a child who left the comfort of her good friends on the playground, to go and offer to play with a lonely ‘mean’ girl because she felt compassion for her. Once, during a game of pick up sticks, this sweet child began putting her most valuable sticks on my pile, so that I’d out score her! This child…she has compassion for bugs even! If there is an animal or creature of any kind that is suffering, she instantly, tearfully insists we do something to help it.
I can’t understand where a comment like this is coming from. My heart is crushed, in a single moment. I turn inward, searching for answers. Why? Where have I gone wrong? Does she get this from me? Do I do that? I defend myself to me, and think, “Surely, I’ve always had gorgeous, amazing girlfriends in my life, whom I’ve been proud to accompany in spite of being in my frumpy sweatpants!” Then, the truth hits me in the chest like a ton of bricks. Sadly, I have been guilty of this in my life. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we’ve all been guilty of this. We’ve pulled out our measuring sticks and compared our lives, our homes, our cooking, our kids, our pant size, our glittery shirts…to that of others. I begin to feel the weight of this moment, and the magnitude of damage it could cause if allowed to slip away into the whirlwind of the evening.
My heart hangs low so I kneel down to scoop it up, to scoop her up. Oh, tender heart…don’t you know God considers YOU the most beautiful of all His creations, no matter what clothes you are wearing? Whether they are from that glamorous store in the mall, or that second hand store we visit down the road, is insignificant. God looks at the heart. God sees YOU on the inside. He looks at HER heart, too. He considers her the most beautiful of all His creations as well. Don’t you know, dear heart, that two are better than one? Two of you girls, shirts adorned with sparkles or not, are better when banded together. For, if one falls down, the other is there to lift up, build up, help walk. We are not meant to whack each other with hurtful rods of comparison, no!
The only thing of any value that we clothe ourselves with is Christ. As His beloved ones, we have the luxury of being able to wear heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and love. In clothing ourselves with Christ, we are able to bear with one another, forgive one another and give thanks for one another. In clothing ourselves with Christ, we become one. Oh daughter, please get this: clothe yourself with Christ, and you will radiate beauty! Clothe yourself with Christ, and when you walk into a room you’ll turn heads…toward Him! Clothe yourself with Christ, and win souls for His kingdom! Please, grasp this truth! Her blooming soul seems to understand as she listens to my words but sees my heart. She softly responds, “Okay, Mama.”
Moments… some shameful, some glorious…where you’re standing before the one and only mirror that doesn’t lie. I walk away from the mirror, knowing that I have a monumental task before me as a mother in bringing up a daughter. My desire is to put on Christ daily, so that my precious girl will learn to do the same. I want her to reach for Christ, the only garment that will shine forth true beauty, in a world size closet of fancy imitation items. Lord, help me to dress my best in YOU, so that I can shine your beauty into the only mirror that matters…my daughter.
(To all my email subscribers: my apologies that you received my ‘rough draft’ first! I was so excited to be writing again, that I sent it out before it was ready!)