Living and working in a city, I have many opportunities to walk past large glass windows that face the street. These windows make great reflective surfaces—they’re practically mirrors for all the passersby. I recently noticed that I was using these windows as mirrors, frequently checking my appearance as I went about my day.
If I was wearing a new outfit I wasn’t totally sure of, or wanted to see if the wind had messed up my hair, it seemed logical to look at myself. But soon I realized that these checks were becoming a habit, with my eyes glancing into almost every reflective window I passed.
A few months ago, on the walk from my subway stop to the office where I work, a route that includes an especially long set of these windows, I again met my own gaze in the glass and just got tired of it! “Why do I do that?” I wondered in frustration. The answer I got was like a gentle chastisement, and came to my thought in a firm, almost audible, voice: “Have you forgotten who you are, and need to locate yourself in matter?”
Wow! That message, which I was sure came from God, almost stopped me in my tracks. It was clear that what I had to do was realize that I am a spiritual idea, the reflection of God, Soul, not a body that is dependent on appearance for identity and worth. Divine Love would tell me who I am, and this identity wasn’t dependent on my physical perception of myself.
The immediate effect of this inspiration was that I stopped looking at myself in those windows. The desire to constantly check my appearance completely left, and I can honestly say that since then, I haven’t found my gaze lingering on my reflection. This isn’t to say that I don’t look in the mirror before I go out, or make an effort to look my best, but these checks aren’t habitual, as they were before. I strive instead to take moments to acknowledge my spiritual identity as I walk past those windows on my commute.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere” (p. 516). I am so grateful to have made a step toward understanding more fully what it means to be the reflection of God.