There is a woman in the mirror that shares my face but does not know who I am. She mimics my every move with nuanced attention to detail–the slight raise of brow, the synchronized blink and focus, the parting lips and hint of smile… Her performance is flawless. But she does not know what I am thinking.
She follows with her eyes as I move through the motions of my life. She sees me in passing intervals, in mirrored images. In 15-second clips or live photos as I walk by.
She imagines herself cast as the lead role in a comedy of errors. The perpetual rerun of a meaningless day. She sees me with armfulls of babies. She pantomimes my wrestling them into clothes and habits and sitting them down at the kitchen table. She watches the time lapse movie of endless spills and meals and messes.
She sees me bent over a manuscript in the early morning hours, scratching away at the story of my life.
She sees me touching the faces of my children, speaking to them, leaning over their drawings, listening to their songs. She sees me breaking up fights and absolutely throwing my hands up in the air.
She smiles when I smile. She cries when I cry.
She is bystanding my life. From inside the frame, she watches me half-heartedly, like a boring mini-series, wondering when we will ever get to the climax of the story. She is only invested because we share this face.
But she doesn’t know my secrets.
She doesn’t know the words that are building a city in my mind. That I move through a life where the streets are lit by the phrases of poets and writers. Where houses are framed in the sturdy conversations of kindred friends. Where the the sprawling streets are called by the names of those I love most dearly. I live in a city built upon the profound comfort and calm of holy scripture, the musical voices of children, the language that lingers in the places we gather, the heart-beating bleeding of ink on paper. I live in hymned harmonies and hopes sung. I build my house on words. I rest my restless heart in them.
She could not know that every moment is moving me forward into the story of God’s great love. That He can be found in the smallest of days. That significance can be secret, like a seed planted in the ground.
Like the smile we share as I walk on by.