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by Al Carden

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Apr. 27, 2016

Not very long ago a fellow employee came into my office to talk about an issue that was causing him a lot of grief. As a matter of fact once he sat down it became very apparent just how upset and angry he was. I have a hammer sitting on one of my bookshelves that I found one day laying out in the street and as he was sitting down he reached for that hammer. As I observed him patting his palm with the hammer it occurred to me that whatever or whoever was causing him such discomfort didn't need to be in his vicinity. As he began to cool down we chatted about the issues that were causing him such frustration. You know how it is when you try to do stuff to help others and your efforts are not appreciated. In my estimation my visitor had just about reached his limit.

In the various readings I have been involved with recently one of them is related to an anthropological theory set forth by Rene' Girard called the mimetic theory. This theory sets forth a number of things but one of the ideas of this theory says that we are beings of reflection. In other words our design is to reflect the glory of God. When John the Baptist identified Jesus just before his baptism he announced, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." The mimetic theory might possibly say that we reflect that which we behold. If this is true then anytime we are reflecting the glory of God then it is possible to reflect His glory to those around us. By the same token should we reflect, say negative attitudes or behaviors coming from those around us this theory would offer that we might just as well reflect the very same negative attitudes and behaviors.

This is the approach I decided to take with my fellow employee as he sat fuming in my office. Once we had a chance to lift up his value and importance establishing the fact that he is a person of worth with the sole design of reflecting the image and glory of God, it became increasingly gratifying to realize the opportunities that awaited him to focus on that kind of reflecting potential. Soon he exited my office and I didn't see him again for a couple of weeks.

Just the other day that same fellow employee came waltzing into my office with a gift bag of candy with a balloon attached. I thought he was bringing it to me but what I discovered was much more important. It seemed that my fellow employee had taken his role of reflecting the image of God to heart and as a result the very ones that had given him such grief reflected back to him the love he decided to reflect in their direction. He shared with me how absolutely overwhelmed and surprised he was to receive such a gift.

We are beings of reflection. We do indeed reflect that which we behold. We are made in the image of God to reflect His glory. When people reflect negative thoughts and behaviors toward us we can decide to reflect those same things back to them or we can focus our attention on the glorious reality that our God given design is to reflect the love of our heavenly father. It is our choice. I hope you choose to celebrate!