Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm Starting with the (Wo)Man in the Mirror

I found my doppleganger!

They say we all have one.  A spitting image.  A dead ringer.  A twin out there in the world.

I found mine.

Once a month or so, our church holds a worship service at a local homeless shelter.  As you can imagine, we have people from many different walks of life… men, women, and children.  And that’s where I saw her.

She looked just like me… gorgeous, obviously.  She had the same round face and chubby cheeks, the same brown eyes, the same mousy, fine hair that I would guess she’s complained about her whole life.

I was so drawn to the woman as I was at the podium leading singing.  It was like looking in a mirror, at my own reflection, albeit on a day when I didn’t have assistance from Sephora, John Freida, or Oil of Olay.

So I watched her… the homeless me… as we sang and prayed.  She smiled as I spoke.  She knew the words to some of the songs.  She even lifted her hands just briefly.  She closed her eyes during prayer, and I think I saw her lips moving, like she was really talking to God.

As I watched her, I couldn’t help but wonder what choices or circumstances had led her to this very different place in life.  Could it have been addiction?  Maybe loving the wrong person?  Maybe trusting the wrong person?  Or maybe this is just the way it’s always been for her.

Could I be her?

Could she be me?

The same face, but so different.

Or were we?

I mean really, when viewed through the eyes of God, am I somehow worth more because I went to school longer or because I get a regular paycheck or have a lawn to mow?

I didn’t get a chance to meet my doppelganger or even learn her name, but as I watched my alternate-universe self walk out of the little chapel in an ill-fitting stained red t-shirt, I knew the thought of her would stay with me.

How often do we pass by people who are poor or homeless and think of them like they’re aliens?  So very different from us.  Dirty.  Weird.  What if, instead, we saw our own faces?

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