My father died 24 years ago in November. People still say I’m like him. I cringe.
So, I examine my reflection in the mirror every morning. Up close. I suppose, if I wipe the shaving gel away, imagine myself bald, not a ‘number 4 bald’, real bald, and of course, smile more, there is a likeness. Looking more closely, mmm, yes, I need to straighten my nose. Dad never played rugby at school. He was out to work at fifteen, in the tail of the Great Depression. And then there is temperament. He was a friendly man who would have fretted all through Lockdown, anxious to get back to his pastoral visitation. Me? Give me a book, my imagination and my own company, and Lockdown’s sorted. Nor was our DNA the same. Similar yes. But not the same. I carry many of my mother’s genes and reflect some of her outlook on life. If it goes wrong, it goes wrong. Big. Dying? Had she left the place tidy? If not, what would the neighbours think? Dad was optimistic; get out there and do it. Dying? He would see Jesus face to face. As I look in the mirror, I conclude, reverse image or not, I’m hardly an ‘exact representation.’ But then who is?
The apostle, John knew. ‘The Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ Again, ‘…We have seen his glory…,’ on earth with the woman at the well, on the cross, in the upper room, and on Patmos. It wasn’t an image like on a coin or in a mirror; it was the real thing. As Dr. Gooding puts it in ‘The Unshakeable Kingdom’ ‘… But Christ not only represents God’s essential being exactly… he possesses the same essential being.’ Looking again in that mirror, I think ‘exact representation?’ Yes, there’s more to that than meets the eye.