The responses I have received from my friends regarding our material fast and this blog have been overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging. Well, all except for the one very good friend who declared, prior to even knowing what the blog was about, that she "hates blogs." Thankfully the encouraging messages have outnumbered the one negative comment.
I admit I was stunned and somewhat hurt when I initially read the "I hate blogs" response from such a good friend. However, after a few email exchanges with my friend and learning why she hates blogs, I decided not to take it personally. After all, she had not, and as far as I know still has not read a Mirror, Mirror post. This friend explained to me that she is generally annoyed by social media such as Facebook and blogs wherein people chose to share their inner-most thoughts with the world in lieu of private diaries, prayer and reflection. I can understand and respect that opinion. Admittedly, part of why I thought Amy's idea to blog about our fast was a good idea was so that I could use the writing as a form of reflection on the purpose of our fast, and so far, at least for me, that has been the case.
Days and weeks after my to remain unnamed friend made her declaration of hatred, I continued to think about what she had said. I think it was the use of the word "hate" that surprised me the most. As a mother of two young children, I have always tried to teach them not to say "hate" but to instead find another way to express how they feel about the object of their dislike. I remember being about four or five years old and receiving a harsh spanking because I told my older sister that I hated her, so needless to say, I've always tried to be very careful about my use of that word.
But the more I thought about it, the more I started to admit to myself that I too use that word, but in reference to myself. It is sad to admit, but generally speaking, when the word "hate" comes to my mind or out of my mouth, it is usually when I am looking at myself in the mirror, or beating myself up about some perceived shortcoming of my own, whether as a wife, mother, or lawyer. Sadly, I almost always find something to hate about the way I look when I glance in the mirror. I think that if I use this fast as a time to try to see, truly see, who God sees and who God wants me to be, the word "hate" should not pop into my head when I look in the mirror. I need to learn to love the wrinkles and sun spots, the gray hairs that seem to grow exponentially, and the weirdly stretched out stomach that has resulted from the birth of those two precious gifts from God. I have a dear friend who once gave up mirrors for Lent -- now that is something to think about!
I am going to try really hard to drop the use of the word "hate" when viewing myself, literally and figuratively. I do not think for a second that God would want me to hate anything about myself. After all, he made me, and I am his child. I know he does not hate me.