A Giant American Mirror

Something totally unexpected, unforeseen and quite strange happened one day in America. A large mirror appeared in society, so huge and imposing it was impossible to ignore. And no one did ignore it. In fact, Americans probably spent more time looking directly into this mirror than they had looked at anything for centuries, perhaps ever.

People who gazed at it fell into one of two camps. Some adamantly refused to see themselves in the mirror, to which they loudly complained that it was totally broken. Useless! Or others saw a sort of “Photo-Shopped” image of themselves, uniquely distorted for each person, making them proud and convinced they were much better looking than they actually were.

Debate raged among everyone as to what, why, and above all how this mirror had appeared. The two polarized camps held a deeply embedded conviction that they alone saw what the giant mirror did or didn’t reflect. It was crazy-making to put it mildly, often engendering an angry blindness in otherwise usually sane folks.

But not everyone was blinded. A relatively few souls saw their own deeply unflattering self when they looked into the mirror. Though painful, they saw their American face without rationalizing or excuse. With a certain shame and sorrow, these few understood that the arrival of this giant unexpected mirror was inevitable, that America had been given what it deserved. It had only been a matter of time.

But if one looked closely at his or her own reflection with genuine humility—not worrying about what others thought they saw—they would recognize the mirror as holding the potential to move them deeper into the grace of personal repentance. This ancient term was always understood as a gift of the ongoing healing of one’s heart toward a true and lasting vision of eternal values which never fail or become irrelevant, which can never be bought or politicized. And which will never allow one to manipulate or use people for personal gain. Which sadly, will probably never make the evening news.

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