I don’t know about you, but my mirror doesn’t always reflect what I’d like to see. I’m getting older, 50 plus, (actually way plus!) and what used to be curvy now sags a bit, firm flesh has turned fatty, lines serve as a depressing reminder: you’re not a kid anymore kiddo.
I look in the mirror, my looking glass, and see flaws, mistakes, frailties. I judge what I see as imperfect and compare myself to the women in my life and come up woefully short. I want to be noticed for my appearance. I want youth and beauty and to be all InStyle says I should be.
Don’t we all? Don’t we look in the mirror, vainly wanting more, judging what’s missing rather than seeing ourselves as God sees us, ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’?
There’s an easy-to-miss statement in the bible. “He made the laver of bronze and it’s base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” Exodus 38:8. Moses took the women’s mirrors, melted them down and turned them into a washbasin for the priests.
When the Israelites fled Egypt, they ‘plundered the Egyptians’ and one of the valuable items the women received were highly prized, highly polished bronze mirrors. Not glass like we have today but still able to reflect. The bronze laver, the basin where the priests washed their hands and feet, was created from these melted down mirrors.
The laver was placed between the altar of sacrifice and the Holy Place. Before the priests could enter the Holy Place first they had to offer their sacrifice, next cleanse their hands and feet in the bronze laver and then they could walk into the Holy Place. The water cleansed them from the contamination of the outside world. “They shall wash with water so that they may not die.” Ex 30:2
In the bible, bronze speaks of judgement, sin and disobedience. The things of this world, vanity, pride, comparison, covetousness, condemnation, judgement–all are represented in those mirrors.
But then they get melted down.
Hundreds, maybe thousands of treasured mirrors, from nameless, faceless women are dissolved into a golden liquid, poured into a mold and formed into a basin. Then filled with clean and pure water to wash away the impurities of the world so the washed one can enter the Holy Place.
Imagine a company of women, mirror-less yet reflecting Christ to the world.
Letting God take mirrors of judgement and comparison, guilt and condemnation, and transfigure their purpose. Because it’s a divine exchange, this following God. It’s a holy hand-off, a sacred substitution. We give Him sin, He gives sanctification. Our repentance ushers His forgiveness.
Our filth for His blood. Beauty for Ashes. Joy for mourning. A garment of praise for heavy spirits.
Those mirrors, reflectors of vanity and condemnation become vessels for pure, cleansing water. Water seeping into our souls and spilling over into a pool, then a fountain and finally rivers of living water. Imagine a company of women, reflecting Christ to the world.
Because we will become what we behold.
We bring the water everywhere we go. We make the desert bloom with each footstep. We refresh the thirsty and cleanse their wounds. The pure water of the word becomes our looking glass, reflecting us as we truly are through the word.
“..that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:26-27
Friend, can you give Him your bronze mirror of comparison, pride and condemnation and allow Him to translate it into something holy? Can you let Him wash you with His water and make you clean? Will you allow Him to melt your profane past into a holy present?
What if we freely gave Jesus the very thing we hold back? The fears and insecurities, pride and worry, guilt and shame…imagine what He can do when He melts it all down! He alone can cause us to become the women of God He’s created us to be. He alone can transfigure our purpose and can cause us to no longer judge our worth by what we see but by what He says..”I have chosen you…” “I have redeemed you…” “I love you with an everlasting love…”
His words, His water, held in a transformed vessel, cleansed and free and ready to be a fountain and a spring for thirsty souls.
Only then will we become what we behold.
“We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
Imagine a company of women, mirror-less but reflecting Christ to the world. Imagine what we could do.
So, dear friend, what are your bronze mirrors? Will you give them to Him and let them be changed into something holy?