What the Heart Reflects {DWITW 365}


”As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.”
- Proverbs 27:19

There’s something particularly breathtaking for me about a good metaphor. Whether it invites me to ruminate on how irises grow or the structural strength of triangles, those bits of imagery remind me to look for depth and beauty in the midst of the mundane and notice how little things can showcase to us a glimpse of God. There is so much that goes on around me that I miss, that I simply overlook. Why? Because I’ve believed the lie that simplicity lacks insight, and I’ve forgotten that small can still be significant. I’ve found what I need most sometimes is to just stop, linger a bit, and take a good look at the world around me.  A few words penned by Solomon in Proverbs 27:19 extended just such an invitation to me this week: “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.”

Every morning, at some point in time, I enter our bathroom. And there is no hiding from my reflection in the large mirror that is poised above the sink. Whether I deem the mirror unforgiving or unuseful, this has no opinion of what it holds. It simply shows me what is there. Today as I brushed my teeth, that little proverb from the Word converged with a sliver of Sylvia Plath’s poem The Mirror: “Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me, searching my reaches for what she really is.” I looked up from the sink and at the frothy-mouthed figure that stood looking back at me. What am I, indeed?

It’s a familiar yet haunting question. And it’s not one that can be answered with words or appearances, but with a heart, with a life. I am afraid of my heart, afraid of what it hides and what it loves. It can be unruly and wild - both terribly and wonderfully impassioned. And yet, what does it reflect? What am I? Who am I, really?

If I am what my heart reflects, how do I see it? How can I rightly see what I am?

I think of what the Lord said to Samuel when he was sent to anoint David as the next king: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

I am faced with the reality that I cannot even rightly see myself without the Lord. It is His unimpaired clarity and unfathomable wisdom that I must ultimately rely on to even begin to look at my heart as it truly is, marred by errant desire and selfishness, inclined toward lesser loves, yet redeemed. Wholly redeemed.

I am faced with the reality that I cannot even rightly see myself without the Lord.

It’s somewhere in the mashup of what I was and what I will be that I find what I am. I was unholy, unrighteous, unfaithful, ungodly. But through Christ, these things have been overcome and put to death. He has completed His work - which now gives me freedom. I am being refined from the things that oppose God. The purity of His character is being etched in me and that which is unlike Him removed - this process continues until all that remains is a reflection of the perfect manifestation of His heart, Jesus. But until Jesus is all my heart reflects, my prayer must be as that of David in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Confronted by the words of God through the prophet Nathan, David could no longer hide from his reflection. He hated what he saw and turned to God for forgiveness and redemption. For that was the only place he could find it.

So what am I? I have been broken, but I am made whole. I have been consumed by sin, but I am made holy. I was dead, but I have been made alive. I am a reflection of Christ at work, of a history of redemption, of insurmountable grace, of unsurpassable love. Due to Jesus’ sanctifying presence in my life, I am a re-creation in process.

And you, sister, all this can be true for you too! Because of Jesus, only ever because of Jesus. It is through Him that perpetual renewal is found and in Him that we can overcome our initial, innate reflection of a fallen world. We do not have to conform to what we see around us, but we can image something greater, something brighter. In this darkening world, our hearts can reflect hope.

God, as we carry on throughout the week, through late night shifts, meals alone, diaper changes and carpool lanes, help us to be unafraid and ask You to show us our hearts. We ask You to reveal to us the light and darkness that struggle within. We ask You to come in and renovate the places where we need to better reflect You in the core of who we are. May we turn to You first when we question our identities, when we wonder what we are. May we remember we are Yours, for Your glory forever and ever, we are Yours. Amen.


Robin Zastrow wants to live in a world where coffee never gets cold and kindness abounds. When she's not discovering the wonders of construction paper and cardboard tubes with her two little ones, you can find her sneaking in another few pages of a book or jotting down bits of writing on scraps of paper.

One of her favorite Scriptures is:
“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22 ESV