Chronicles of Marmia, Day 3

I managed to sleep until almost 6:30 this morning, and I awoke still tired but excited for the day. I have been looking around the hotel that we are blessed to be in, and I am seeing that, as they say, everything is bigger in Texas. If nothing else, a bigger budget than my own created this marble, granite, and crystal architectural masterpiece. As I look out the window onto this suburb of Dallas called Addison, I see big highways and big high rises that I hope to see on the other side of the window later today, not just tomorrow as I flee to the airport…

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

My thoughts are rather random, but slightly deep, this morning. I am tossing around ideas that could transform my curriculum or the way I grade. I am contemplating a new learning management system that could solve all the world’s problems–or at least correct some of the difficulties with our school’s current grouping of online solutions. I am also somewhat anxious about my graduate schoolwork for the week, mostly completed, but those niggling, remaining details that simply must be done–when?

A glimpse of those sensible shoes and practical purses…

But, more superficially, I found myself thinking that I am thankful for clothes–considering how they, like love, cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Yesterday, I felt uninspired, dowdy, and school marmy as I mingled among ladies sharing (not literally) my sensible shoes and practical purse. I then compared that experience to seeing myself in a mirror–all day long. But this morning, as I walked out of my room to get some free coffee from the lobby, I noted myself in the mirror as I awaited the elevator. It made me look skinny! And I admired my streamline figure and long legs (again, thankful for clothes!).

Do you remember fun-house mirrors? How just the shape of the glass determined how you appeared? I remember laughing hysterically with friends as we admired our changing reflections.

A couple of weeks ago, my family stayed at a condo on the beach, in itself delightful, except for the mirrors in the master bathroom. This lovely loo features his and her sink areas directly opposing the other, each complete with three mirrors, one flush against the wall, the others at 45 degree angles. It means that while brushing my teeth or putting on makeup, I can see myself from every angle. And, like Texas, everything looks big. And while Texas may boast about that, me (and my rear end) shrink with shame (or try to).

But the mirror near the elevator was a skinny mirror, and it made me feel good. I then got into the elevator, walked through the lobby for the coffee, and noticed that I was walking regally, thinking myself that elegant, streamlined, long-legged beauty I had just seen in the mirror above.

And I thought, “If a last look at myself in a skinny mirror can result in a changed attitude and demeanor, imagine what I would feel if I could see myself the way my loving heavenly Father sees me?”

I had no idea, as I left for the morning’s meetings, that within the very encouraging message titled “Teaching with Grace,” which included such cheers as “You are going to fail this year,” would be included a related nugget of truth: When God looks at me, he doesn’t see me and my failings, he sees Jesus (or me wrapped in Jesus’ royal robes of righteousness–clothes and love covering my multitude of sins!).

The speaker could not have known the meanderings of my reflections before the meeting or how her words would encourage my soul. She spoke of the conference’s theme–“Repairing the Ruins”–and how it communicated not only the ruins of American education and our hopes for it but also the ruins that resulted from Adam and Eve’s fall from grace.

She pointed out how that first couple tried to cover their sin with fig leaves–just as I try to cover my sins with either declarations of my own righteousness (or simply clothes). We should, instead, be seen in Jesus’s kingly robes!

A skinny mirror can make me think myself as thin and lean for at least a few moments. Reflecting on how God sees me should transform all my moments.

I must say, it transformed my day. Texas may be big, but my excitement over what this school marm has learned–about teaching and the love of Christ–is bigger.

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