Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Image In Equals Image Out

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Are you ever happy with what you observe?

What do you suppose people did before mirrors? Movies, stories, mythology and fables all use the reflective qualities of water to allow their characters to peer into themselves. To dig deep. Water is once again symbolic.

For scientists, the reflectivity of any material is dependent on that matter’s characteristics. Accordingly, the more reflective the material is the clearer the image. It follows that water is a very reflective substance. With such substances, scientists say, “The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.”

In other words, when the image (light waves reflected off the image) hits water, it bounces back at the same angle.

The image in equals the image out.

I can’t help but wonder if this is another way humans are considered reflections of God. The angle of incident—that is, the angle at which we take on the loving attributes of God—equals the angle of reflection—that is, the angle at which we give those moments to others. Is it possible when the angle of incident is equal to the angle of reflection we are most like Him?

As humans we are invited to be God’s reflection. With the right Light, we can reflect the same angle and create an image that mirrors His.

What happens when water is disturbed by the elements? When there are ripples in the water, the reflected image on the water becomes distorted.

It’s no different with humans. The ripples of life create distortions which produce a disfigured image of God.

Most of those times the ripples start as errant drops of rain occasionally plummeting into the water . But something insidious happens when we put ourselves first. It starts out small, of course. Perhaps we decide to skip the “thank you,” or we pass a stranger without making eye contact. Then it breeds our diluted selves believing we deserve something we’re not getting, or we deem we are better than others. It’s then that the rain begins to pour down on the still pools of the water we call ourselves.

What does rain do to the reflection of something on the surface of water? It completely destroys it. Sometimes that’s what we need. Sometimes we get so into ourselves that we forget there is an outside world and that we belong in it.

Recently it rained on my lake. I didn’t even know it at first.

I didn’t stop going to church or praying, but I stopped giving myself fully to God. Instead, I filled my time with self-indulgent moments of validation, oblivious that I was pursuing my own will instead of the Father’s. Gently the wind of the Holy Spirit set out tiny ripples on what I thought was my perfect reflection, trying to show me that I was getting away from my ability to reflect God’s love. I ignored these insignificant wrinkles convincing myself we are all human. So the Father sent a stronger wind giving way to larger waves disrupting my image even more. I ignored these winds too.

It wasn’t until my actions turned into a downpour on my lake that I perceived my reflection for what it was. Total chaos.

When I sin, when I purposely walk away from God and not to Him, there is no other way to get me back, no way to reach me. God must send the rain.

When we choose to act out of love, those ripples are stilled, but when we choose to act out of hate, those ripples become waves which warp our ability to be reflections of God.

The symbolism that the Creator gives us in water is rich and full of meaning. It's where science meets faith. It's where the tangible meets the unexplainable. And it's where we get to decide which has more meaning.


Anonymous said...

Great insight and imagery. I love to pray beside the water. I know we all have been there. Thanks for your transparency.

Loretta Oakes said...

Thanks, Jan! love seeing you here. Miss you!

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Asus MX said...

I like watching in water while sun is shining, it's so dramatic.. it's like a mirror of my heart.. cool post,thanks