Friday, November 13, 2009


Remember the saying "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" In Haiti there are not many mirrors. Most of what you see are small pieces. And yet most of the women had hair always done up. The way that happens most of the time is because they do each others hair. In their culture, almost all women are hair dressers who work for free. And doing each others hair is not a small feat! One evening as we were taking a break waiting on supper to be cooked, I was sitting across the street and happened to look up and see two of the girls in Rob's house sitting on the roof, Junie was doing Kimberly's hair. As the evening shadow crept over the sky, and the night descended, she continued to work by the light of a cell phone. I could hear them chatting when I could no longer make out their heads against the black night sky. I remember thinking again about all the ways we have made ourselves independent of each other. How we enter our homes that have almost become recluses from the rest of the world, and can't help but think that somehow we are not the better for it. Isolation is a terrible foe in our culture. Poverty is a nasty enemy, but loneliness is a killer. People die in Haiti all the time, but they are not suicidal, and as I have said before, they rarely die alone. While here, we have to have suicide hotlines because we are unwilling to hear each other out! I was usually one of the last to get cleaned up in the day, and there was so much to do, that I often didn't get to it until quite late. As Rob and I were flying around one day, we came into a store and made a quick purchase. As I stepped to the glass to pay for our goods, I saw my reflection in it and noticed that I looked pretty bad. I said to Rob, "I look awful." He said to me; "Who told you this?" Then he continued his chiding; "It seems you are listening to the glass!" It gave me pause. How many Americans live by what the glass mirror says. We rated ourselves because we do a comparative study of ourselves against someone's picture. Our beauty is something unique to each of us. God made and formed each one of us for a reason, a divine purpose, a beauty compared to no other, yet we lock ourselves away from the world in front of the mirror waiting for it's approval. It's lying to you, robbing you of relationship, and it is wreaking havoc in our culture. I am not advocating we be tramps, that we neglect ourselves, but that we be cautious of what we let the mirror tell us. I am thankful for the mirror, it has saved me a few embarrassing moments, but I too have fallen prey to it's lies. And I was reminded of the character hiding behind that little glass! It could be healthy for our lives if we had to depend on each other a little more. Independence is not all it's cracked up to be, we have taken a good concept a little too far! Mom's be thankful for the opportunity to do your daughters hair, utilize those moments to forge relationship. Someday it will come back to pay you big dividends. And warn those young daughters of the tale of the mirror. It will always tell its little lies! The Haitian people I have said again and again, are a beautiful people. So are we, let us love one another, for we all are the fairest of them all. God did not make anyone we could compare ourselves to. He did that for a reason!! He gave us the mirror of His word to look into, that is where you should place your trust! These Haitian people are doing that all the time, their choices are much narrower than ours! Blessings from the dining room table, away from the mirror!


stacey said...

So very well written. Your message always gets through. :)

shelbiemae said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I can realate very well. I have taken too much time listening to the mirror. I loved this becase it brought God's truth back into my life. So many times I belive I am inferior. I even spent 2 years living by the mirror, I was anorexic. I know how the mirror can kill a life and dream. The fact that the people in Haiti can be so beautiful makes me feel beautiful also. I am reminded of inner-beauty and the fact that God made me in his image, as he makes everyone. I have dedicated my life to helping the people of America to see their inner-beauty that God has placed in them. If it wernt for GOd's unfailing Mercy and love I dont belive any of us would be beautiful. It is he who brings out the beauty in us.
Thank you so much for sharing this.
Shelbie Lingaur