Faith Moment
September 8, 2014
Stranger in the Mirror

Joyce Urch and her husband Eric celebrated their golden anniversary in a way she never envisioned.  Blinded by a hereditary illness 26 years ago, Joyce has lived amongst her 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren, some of whom she has known only by sound or touch. When Joyce was suddenly rushed to the hospital with severe chest pain, she feared she was about to lose even this.  

A few days after her admittance, Mrs. Urch suffered a serious heart attack and was nearing kidney failure. Doctors did not expect her to live, yet they performed emergency surgery. Amazingly, Joyce not only survived the surgery, but experienced a recovery that shocked the entire family – herself included.  Mrs. Urch woke up seeing!

Her husband describes the stunned reactions of a family indelibly marked by blindness, but suddenly given the gift of sight.  At first he didn't believe her frenetic bedside declarations—"I can see!  I can see!"  

He immediately asked her what color sweater he was wearing.  "She leaned forward," said Mr. Urch, "and she just looked at me and said, 'Haven't you got old.'  And I said, 'Wait 'til you have a look in the mirror.'"  

I cannot imagine what it would be like to look in a mirror after more than 20 years of knowing your face by touch and imagination alone. Joyce Urch had to deal with the difficulty of learning to recognize the stranger in the mirror.  

Equally difficult for most of us is the adjustment that happens when we begin to see ourselves as God sees us. Sin has blinded us to the reality of our true identity in Christ. We tend to see ourselves as less than the child of God that scripture declares us to be.

When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your sins or imperfections. If you have asked for the forgiveness that comes through faith in Jesus, God sees only the robe of Christ’s righteousness that covers you. Thus, He sees you as being perfect, just like His Son Jesus.

When, after 20+ years of blindness, Mrs. Urch looked in the mirror the first time, she saw a woman much older than the one she remembered. Adjusting to that image was quite a shock. By contrast, when we begin to see ourselves as God sees us, the shock is one of positive surprise. We look like Jesus!

“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18


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