Although some of you might discourage me from doing so, I will readily admit that I am a fan of Michael Jackson’s music. As unusual, intriguing, perhaps scandalous, as his personal life was, I think it’s undeniable that he had incredible talent. I also think he inspired a lot of people, and I think the way his life ended was a terrible tragedy.

I had a roommate from Japan when I was at university, and she shared my affinity for MJ. Sometimes when we were in the car, we’d put his History album in, and his song, “Man in the Mirror” would come on, and we’d sing along or just enjoy the music. As it ended, she would gingerly look over and point her finger at the repeat button, in hopes that we could listen to the song again. I, of course, joyfully agreed that we should.


These are the lyrics I find particularly inspiring:

I’m starting with the man in the mirror,
I’m asking him to change his ways.
And no message could’ve been any clearer:
if you want to make the world a better place,
take a look at yourself and make the CHANGE.

WHOO! WHOO! Na-na-naaaa Na-na-naaaaa Na, na, na naaaaaa…

I suppose that last part isn’t as inspirational, but it sure did get me going.

There is a lot of truth in those words, and when it comes to thinking about walking out a life of faith with Jesus at the helm, they remind me of these words:

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. {II Chron. 7:14}

I’d heard that verse repeatedly quoted for years before the penny dropped and it became something significant to me. I remember sitting at a conference in London when the speaker pointed out the obvious: God is saying that HIS PEOPLE need to turn from their wicked ways. Not that they need to convince people who don’t believe in God or want to be God’s people to turn from their wicked ways. Not that we need to try to eradicate the things that we see around us that are wrong. Not that we need to fight a ‘culture war’ to defend the sanctity of marriage. Not that we need to be busy boycotting Home Depot and Sears. (I am not saying there isn’t a place for evangelism and discipleship — I am saying there is also a place for making sure we’re looking in the mirror every day, too.)

If MY PEOPLE will humble themselves and turn from THEIR wicked ways, I will heal their land.

The change starts with those of us who say we are the people of God.

Hero Hubs and I have had some strain on our relationship these past few weeks. We have a lot on our plates, a lot on our calendars, the impending change of everything is looming over us as we count down the weeks and days until Baby Brother’s arrival. Life has laid a little stress on our shoulders, and, as is often the case in many relationships, stress finds its way of surfacing and causing frustration and friction and strain.

I sat down to pray and think about how things could be different, and just began to lay the challenges out before the Lord: We’re struggling to communicate, to come to an agreement on decisions…things just feel strained. And it wasn’t long into that assessment when the Lord began to help me see things differently. Where I might want to say, “But I am trying hard! But I am doing this… But I am…” the Lord helped me to think about HH’s perspective, and also reminded me of the very loving ways that he has endeavoured to take things off my plate and to help me through the burden of being heavily pregnant, operating on not much sleep, with thick ankles and heartburn.

And then I found myself praying this way: “Help me to see how I need to change and what I can do — how I can do my part to show love, to communicate the things that HH needs to see and hear to feel respected and loved.”

And the words from II Chronicles 7:14 surfaced in my mind. And the lyrics from Man in the Mirror. It is always easier to see someone else’s speck than your own plank. But when you find yourself saying, “How can I love? What can I do differently? Where am I falling short?” you can bet that the Lord is probably leading you.

Whether you’re changing a nation or changing a neighbourhood, or even just changing the direction things are going in your own home, the best place to start is with the {wo}man in the mirror.

Whoo! Whoo! Na-na-naaaa Na-na-naaaaa Na, na, na naaaaaa…


The rest of the lyrics to Man in the Mirror can be found right here. Pretty inspiring!