I LOOKED IN THE MIRROR BY FRANK FERRERA

I Looked in the Mirror

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What I am about to write, has been on my mind for about five months. I have waited this long to allow for this story, told to me by a person in church, to settle in. It opened my eyes. So let me begin from the beginning.

I received a phone call one evening from this person who told me he had to talk with me. So we met at his house. As I walked in, I could sense he was nervous. He said to me, “What I am about to tell you, please let it stay between us.” I said of course I would. Let me say now that I consider this person a great Christian man. I respect him. His story began this way.

He said to me, “You are looking at a person who was once the most carnal man in the church.” I was shocked to hear this person say this. I was amazed really. He continued, “A few weeks ago, I came home from a weekend of drinking and everything else you can imagine doing in this world.” I must have looked surprised because he said, “Yes, I am a hypocrite, a pretender, a liar, a prideful performer in this church. I am one of those who point a finger at others and condemn them. I have been playing church for a long time.” At this, I sat back in my chair. I was in shock. I could not believe what I was hearing. I remained quiet for quite some time before he continued. “When I arrived home that night a few weeks back, I recalled that I had previously asked the pastor if I could open the church service the next morning. He said sure I could. I asked him if he wanted me to open with anything special. He asked me to read from Revelations 3, verses 14 though 22.”

“Here I was. I could hardly stand up. So I thought I had better wash my face and read it over once before going to bed. As I stood in front of the mirror, I thought to myself, a clean face, a few hours of sleep, my face will clear up, and I’ll be fine. I could be ready to put on the show. I reviewed the passage once over, skimming mostly. Then I went to bed and fell asleep. I tossed and turned and started to sweat almost immediately. In my mind, all I could remember was that line in Revelation that said, you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I am about to vomit you out of mouth. I am standing here knocking on your door.

Now I was hearing laughter and faces were appearing all around me yelling, “You hypocrite!” I awoke from my sleep, looked at the clock. It had only been a half hour. I got out of bed and walked to the mirror I had stood at just an hour or so before. As I looked, it was not my face that I saw. It was this horrible disfigured face in its place. I was shaken to the core. I could not move. Suddenly, the face began to speak to me and it said, “Where were you last night? And how about all the things you were doing? Just because you asked Jesus for forgiveness a few days ago, do you think you can do whatever you want to now and you will automatically be forgiven? Let me show you where you are and how it all began.”

In a second, it was as if I was made weightless and lifted into the mirror. I was transported back in time, back to my youth. I saw myself as a young teenager going to. Actually, my mother and father made me go to church. They would argue back and forth all the way to church, but then when we arrived at the front doors, it was all, “Bless you brother, bless you sister.” I remember thinking to myself that I would be just like them someday. I wasn’t the only teenager who did not want to go to church so I figured I was no different from anyone else in my thinking.

As time went forward again, I went backwards…literally – until I was once again standing in my bathroom and looking at the reflection in my mirror. The faces said, “Blame your parents. Blame your friends. Blame the pastor even, but it was you who opened the door to me.” At that very moment there was like a wind that blew and it was as if lighting struck the mirror.

The face disappeared then and this voice filled with compassion spoke to me. Tears started to run down my face. It felt as if my spirit might burst inside me. The voice said, “Repent my son. Open the door, for as many as I love, I discipline. Repent.” At the same time, a much less compassionate and even sinister and sarcastic voice yelled from behind me, “Do you really think you will be forgiven?”

I had heard the Lord’s voice many a time, but I had always run from it. I was too afraid to listen. Now my heavenly Father was saying to me, “Did I not forgive David for the sin he committed, and Moses for his disobedience? What about Ezekiel for his pride and Peter for denying me. I even forgave the prodigal son when he returned to me. You see, my son, I was also tempted by this evil one you hear behind you. But this light that is before you is the word of My Father and with His Word, the evil one can and will be defeated.”

Tears were flowing down my face. I felt in that moment that I was not naked or blind or poor or wretched. Instead, I felt the white linen of righteousness my Father had clothed me in wrap around me like a cloak. I cried out, “Forgive me, forgive me!” He answered, “I have called you My son. You are the gift that My Father has given and I lose not one.” I heard the other voice behind me yelling more faintly now, “You fool! You will be back!” The Lord said to me, “Listen to the words I gave My son David to give to his son, Solomon.

HEAR MY SON THE INSTRUCTIONS OF YOUR FATHER AND GIVE ATTENTION THAT YOU MAY GAIN UNDERSTANDING. FOR I GIVE YOU SOUND TEACHING. DO NOT ABANDON MY INSTRUCTION. WHEN I WAS A SON TO MY FATHER TENDER AND THE ONLY SON IN THE SIGHT OF MY MOTHER, THEN HE TAUGHT ME AND SAID TO ME, “LET YOUR HEART HOLD FAST TO MY WORDS. KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS AND LIVE. ACQUIRE WISDOM. DO NOT FORGET OR TURN AWAY FROM MY WORDS.”

Then God said to me, “I will never leave you or forsake you child. You are my son.” I cried out, “I love you Lord! I love you Lord! And then I awoke. I was still in my bed. It had all been a dream – the mirror showing me who I was and who I am today…or had it?

My question to you is, “Have you looked in the mirror lately?”