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Reflection

December 14, 2010 2 comments

Reflection at sunsetA couple of nights ago, at a service convened to sing in the Christmas season, the celebrant invited us to come back often. He suggested that his church, with the music it offers, creates an ideal spot for reflection and refuge from holiday stress.

I noticed how frequently we’re encouraged to “reflect” during this time of year, and I got to thinking about reflection. By its nature a relative term (reflection on…, reflection of…), the word reflection means, from its Latin roots, a bending back. To reflect is to reconsider something in a new light. Like a shadow or an echo or a memory, a reflection measures and translates the substance of the thing being reflected.

When my sister died in a flood four years ago today, there was no time for reflection. In shock, we were immediately occupied with the logistics of saying our unprepared and broken-hearted goodbyes. Yet in the months and years since losing Kate, I have repeatedly bent back to her life and her death in search of understanding and inspiration.

In that reflection I have found insight…

To reflect is simply to learn, and ultimately perhaps, to act with new awareness. More than just a trick of light, a reflection is less tangible but no less real than the thing that gives it being.

What are your reflections teaching you?

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