Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. James 1:23-24, NIV
by Danetta Kellar
I was eleven years old the day I realized what I really looked like.
I stood in front of the cheap mirror, staring at my reflection, far too close for vanity. In my hand I held up a black and white photo, preserved crisp and pristine over the years. The young man in the photograph reminded me of James Dean. He wore a slim-fitting button-down shirt with a tie snug at his neck. It was clear he had battled his curls, taming them, sweeping them back into a dignified wave. He was utterly handsome and my heart was mesmerized.
He was my father, whom I had never met.
I had always wondered what he looked like. I was used to looking different from my ginger-haired, fair-skinned mother and sister. People commented on it often.
I found the photograph in a yellow-paged scrapbook in the attic, tucked away from sight.
I had been sent upstairs on an errand for my mother when I came upon the treasure. The secret to what I looked like. I look just like him, I whispered to my image as I slowly traced my nose. That darn nose. The nose that always got in the way in pictures. That big, beautiful nose of mine. And his.
And the curls. The unruly, crazy curls that made me cry when I tried to run a brush through them. His hair was curly too, and the same dark color.
I felt relieved that day, as if a long-hidden secret had been revealed, and with it, an explanation of who I was.
His absence in my life left me on a path of near destruction. But that path led me to find my greater Father, and in the Bible, I began to see who I was meant to be, regardless of my earthly parentage. Word upon word, promise upon promise, truth upon truth, my heavenly Father began constructing for me an image of my own soul, my most core identity. As I obeyed His Word and not only obeyed, but believed it despite my traumatic childhood, I began to see what I looked like.
There is a photograph, preserved through the ages, which holds the secret to your image and mine. Upon careful study, it will reveal who we look like.
It is the Word of God, our true mirror, the certain measure, of our souls. As I study myself in its reflection, may I see my Father. For I am his own daughter.
Lord, help me be a doer of the word, not just a hearer. Build your image in me as I believe that the truest things about me are what You say about me. Amen.
As we carefully study the Bible, we will learn our true #identity. (Click to Tweet)