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My thoughts toward the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah have changed over the years. When I was young, I thought it was utterly romantic that Jacob would toil away for 14 years just to marry Rachel. As I grew older, I began to feel sorry for Leah, who comes off looking the worst in this tale. Her father's pawn, her husband's unwanted wife. How must Rachel have felt toward Leah? Then once Rachel became Jacob's second wife, how must Leah have felt toward Rachel?
There's a parallel here that I'd never considered before this week's chapters from Your Secret Name.
"Serving as an uninvited truth teller, Laban's treachery reflected Jacob's past with fresh eyes, mirroring his present struggles with entirely new hues. After all, he still had Esau to contend with and soon enough he's have to stand before his brother and deliver another apology." -p. 108Jacob deceived his father and stole his brother's birthright. Laban deceived Jacob by switching daughters in the wedding ceremony. Laban benefited by marrying off not one but two daughters to Jacob in the end, as well as gaining wealth from Jacob's years of labor.
If you don't consider Leah and Rachel, you might be tempted to say that Jacob got what he deserved.
If you do consider Leah and Rachel, you might feel sorry for two girls caught in the middle of such deceit. Laban's and Jacob's actions ended up having huge ramifications on the sisters' relationship.
It seems that Jacob needed a wake-up call. How could he be angry at Laban for something that he'd done himself? The man Jacob might have seen in the mirror would have been a difficult reflection to face in light of all of this. In fact, I'm reminded of The Picture of Dorian Gray. We may be able to put on a fine face while our souls tell a more decrepit story.
I wonder about the mirrors I've had to face. What am I indignant about when I have perpetrated the same act? Am I mistaking the speck for the log? Do I need a wake-up call?
Can I look at myself in the mirror in the morning with a clear conscience? What about at night while I get ready for bed?
How does my past mirror my present struggles?
May I be open to the uninvited truth tellers in my life and may the reflected images I see compel me to become more like Christ.
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This post is part of the Your Secret Name Read-Along hosted by the ever-lovely Marla Taviano.