The best word to represent the Greek, and the most literal as well by which to translate it, is the verb mirror, so that 2 Cor. 3:18 would read “But we all, with unveiled face, mirroring the glory of the Lord…” The prophet-apostle seems to me to say “We all, with clear vision of the Lord, mirroring in our hearts his glory, even as a mirror would take into itself his face, are thereby changed into his likeness, his glory working our glory, by the present power, in our inmost being, of the Lord, the spirit.” Our mirroring of Christ, then, is one with the presence of his spirit in us. The idea, you see, is not the reflection, the radiating of the light of Christ on others, though that were an image true enough; but the taking into, and having in us, him working to the changing of us. It is but according to the law of symbol, that the thing symbolized by the mirror should have properties far beyond those of leaded glass or polished metal, seeing it is a live soul understanding that which it takes into its deeps. It mirrors by its will to hold in its mirror. Unlike its symbol, it can hold not merely the outward resemblance, but the inward likeness of the person revealed by it; it is open to the influences of that which it embraces, and is capable of active cooperation with them. Paul’s idea is that when we take into our understanding, our heart, the glory of God, namely Jesus Christ as he shows himself to our eyes, our hearts, our consciences, he works upon us, and will keep working, till we are changed to the very likeness we have thus mirrored in us; for with his likeness he comes himself, and dwells in us.
by Diane Adams
Ever wonder why people close their eyes when they pray? I did, and even stopped doing it for years because it didn’t make sense to me. Seeing is a wonderful gift--with our eyes we can learn to view delicate nuances in light, color, and shape that change how we process the world. But eyesight is less important than true seeing, which is an inner process that allows us to come face-to-face with God in a way our eyes can never accomplish.
To see from the inside, it is first good to know what we are actually trying to see. If we’re looking for God, we can trace his path within us by looking for his ‘markers.’ These things are, as described by the Apostle Paul, the ‘calling cards’ of God: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Where you find these things inside your own being, this is where you need to turn the inner eye.
We become what we behold. This is much more true for the inner self than the outer world. In fact, the way we see inside ourselves will eventually be the way we see the entire world; it is that important. If inside we see jealousy, bitterness and anger...well you probably get the picture.
The human mind stores literally millions of memories. The way it works, from what I understand, is that it has ‘frequent use’ files at the front, things it deems important and pulls up most often. But there are many files that are dusty, shoved in the back, so they’re rarely conscious memories. To focus on the evidence of the spirit, to see the mirror of who God is inside my own person, I find his thread and follow it. For me, this is memory work, digging up files.
I close my eyes and think of kindness. I see my husband’s face, covered with tears because I am crying. I see my Mom’s hand, reaching out to mine. I see my childhood pony’s nose, with its funny white snip, digging into my pocket. I put the files in the ‘easy access’ chamber of my mind, where I can find them quickly and where they influence me more often. I talk to God about his kindness to me, thank him for his kindness, realize all kindness is his hand--those are his tears, his pony.
As a man thinks within himself, so he becomes. The practice of contemplative prayer in terms of obtaining an inner vision of who God is seems to me the best possible way of becoming like him. To bring his light to our own soul can be a deliberate, highly impacting process that allows us to become genuinely changed on the inside rather than focused on how others see us, or on the things we do ‘for God,’ We can choose what we see from the inside, creating a place of touching, a connection, between our souls and the light of God’s Spirit. What we see is what we become.