Max Lucado has more than 40 million books in print and is one of Christian publishing's favorite authors. In his latest title, GOD'S MIRROR: A Modern Parable, he tells two stories that reflect on what it means to be God's ambassadors in the world. One of those stories is that of G.R. Tweed, a young navel officer who spent three years hiding on the island of Guam during World War II.
"When the Japanese occupied the island in 1941, he ducked into the thick tropical brush. Survival hadn't been easy, but he preferred the swamp to a POW camp. Late in the day July 10, 1944, he spotted the friendly vessel. He scurried up a hill and positioned himself on a cliff. Reaching into his pack, he pulled out a small mirror. At 6:20 p.m., he began sending signals. Holding the edge of the mirror in his fingers, he tilted it back and forth, bouncing the sunrays in the direction of the boat. Three short flashes. Three long. Three short again. Dot-dot-dot. Dash-dash-dash. Dot-dot-dot. SOS.
The signal caught the eyes of a sailor on board the USS McCall. A rescue party boarded a motorized dinghy and slipped into the cove past the coastal guns. Tweed was rescued."
It was a good thing Tweed had that mirror and knew how to use it. But Lucado goes on to entertain a crazy idea: what if the mirror hadn't cooperated? "Suppose the mirror had resisted, pushed its own agenda. Rather than reflect a message from the sun, suppose it had opted to send its own."
After all, says Lucado, after three years of isolation the mirror might have been starved for attention. What if, instead of sending an SOS, it sent a LAM (Look At Me!) signal? What if, after three years of inactivity, the mirror was insecure about its abilities? "What if I blow it? What if I send a dash when I'm supposed to send a dot? ... Self-doubt could paralyze a mirror."
So could self-pity. "Been crammed down in that pack, lugged through jungles, and now, all of a sudden expected to face the bright sun and perform a crucial service? No way. Staying in the pack. Not getting any reflection out of me."
Yes, it's a good thing that mirror didn't have a mind of its own. But Lucado points out that we, God's mirrors, do have minds of our own. After a short Greek lesson parsing out 2 Corinthians 3:7, he goes on to unpack the idea of what it means to be a mirror and issues a challenge: "Dare we hope to be a mirror in the hand of God, the reflection of the light of God? This is the call."
GOD'S MIRROR is more a series of thoughtful questions than an in-depth teaching about the Christian life, though it's certainly instructive at a basic level. As such, it's a gift book that would be well-suited for friends and family members just starting to grapple with what it means to be God's ambassadors in the world.
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel on November 13, 2011