As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. – Proverbs 27:19.
This passage is in the running for shortest, but once again the length does not reveal the depth. These few words contain very deep water full of meaning and wisdom.
So how does one’s life reflect “the heart” like water reflects a face (or anything else in front of it)? There are four parts in this metaphor: water, the face, one’s life, and the heart. Let’s explore each one first then see what we can attempt to plumb from the depths of the metaphor.
I have always been fascinated by the way water moves and the shape it takes when it is not moving, for example the glass-like smoothness of a lake in the morning. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. Water has many forms and “faces” despite the fact that all water is simply a molecule of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. God is a bit like water in this way, He has many forms and faces yet He is one God.
The second part of the metaphor is a face. Faces reveal much about our emotions and the state of our inner soul. If eyes are the window to the soul then our faces are something like a garage door to our soul. Our faces reveal when we are happy, sad, annoyed, angry, etc. If the state of our soul is revealed in our faces then seeing our face reflected in water is really seeing something quite amazing. We can see our souls reflected in the water.
The third player is “one’s life”. I do not remember who said it but I remember someone saying that your life is summed up by the hyphen between the year you were born and the year you die on your gravestone. We all have a limited run here on earth of unknown duration. Some have 100 years while others only have days. I do not think that the length of time that constitutes “one’s life” is necessarily the most important factor in determining the content of our “hyphen”. The important thing is what we do with the time that we have here on earth.
The last player is “the heart”. In my float so far the heart has always represented the soul. It is hard to define “soul”, but to me, it is the inner self that lived before we found our way through the secret place to be born, and will return to the “undiscovered country” when we die. Back in Joshua 7:3-9 hearts were said to be like water, i.e. we have “hearts like water“, and just a few days ago God channeled the heart of the king like a river of water.
OK so now let’s try to unpack the metaphor. Water reflects like a mirror only when the surface is undisturbed by waves, ripples, or rocks thrown from the shore. If we approach the water and it is a windy day or we are throwing stones we have difficulty seeing our reflection. If God is like water then we see our faces (inner emotions and soul) in this complex and omniscient presence (God) only when we approach it quietly without “throwing rocks in the water”.
We see “one’s life reflected in the heart”, or the soul reflected in someone’s life, only when that person is near the “water”, the one river, God. We must approach the Great Reflecting Pool with humble hearts if we are to see reflections of our souls in the “water”.
Prayer: God help us to make our lives reflections of You and the love You have for us.