A Lesson From a Parrot

“Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror…”

1 Corinthians 13:12



I used to have a friend with a funny little parrot named Diego.  Diego was allowed to wander around her house, and he would sometimes just sit on the counter, or on her shoulder.  And although I never heard him talk, he did make an interesting variety of noises.  And he loved to chew on things, like plastic, or other hard objects.  He didn’t eat them, just tore pieces off and then went back for more.

What he did not have, was a mirror.  I’ve seen birds in pet stores that have mirrors in their cages, so I asked my friend why, and she said that the breeder warned her that with this particular breed, if they have a mirror in their cage, they will fall in love with their reflection (!!)  and not properly bond with their owners.  I found this tidbit of knowledge fascinating ~ partially because I find things like bird trivia interesting.   But also because I thought there was a warning there…

Mirrors can be dangerous.  I think we can rely on them too much, to give us confidence.  “Okay, my hair looks good; I can leave now.”  Or, “Yes, I look as good in this outfit as I was hoping to,” when we really can’t accurately see what we look like from the back, so we really aren’t getting the whole picture.  Plus, when you look in the mirror, you hold your position: chin up… each hair exactly where you placed it… tummy tucked in… whatever.  We look in the mirror and think, “This is the most perfect I can get,” and then we walk away assuming that’s what we look like all day.    The mirror lies, people!

The spiritual comparison, I believe, is whenever we’re at our spiritual best.  At church… at Bible study…. or maybe as we finish up our morning Quiet Time.  We’ve read some Scripture, we’ve checked off everyone on our “To Pray” list…. we’re feeling strong, feeling like He’s proud of us.  “This is the most perfect I can get,” and then off we go.  But before we know it, and certainly before we realize it, we’re judging, or coveting, or telling a “white” lie or a one of a million other things that do not qualify as loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

We look in the mirror ~ physical or spiritual ~ and we fall in love with what we see there.  And it prevents us from bonding with Him.  And that prevents us from listening to Him, and that prevents us from doing, saying, being what He wants us to.   ‘Cuz what I see looks good to me.  But it ain’t good enough.

Skip the mirror, and check your reflection in Him.  Frequently.  Pray that He will show you what He sees, and that what He sees, will look like Him.


~ “You have searched me, Lord, and You know me…

You perceive my thoughts from afar…

You are familiar with all my ways…

Search me, God, and know my heart

Test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.” ~

Psalm 139


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