Once upon a time, there was a magical mirror. Perhaps you’ve heard of one of these before. This full length mirror framed by gilded flowers had the ability to show the viewer not only what was on the outside, but it also showed what was on the inside of a person. A good person would look into the mirror and would see a beautiful face staring back. A bad person would look into the mirror and see an ugly face staring back. Many people from distant lands came in search of the magic mirror, because they wanted to know what was in their heart. When people left, some of them were in tears, some were rejoicing, others screamed, and others were silent.
The Keeper of the Mirror was a middle-aged man named Henley. He had a daughter named Blaine. Henley told Blaine when she was 12 that she was ready to look into the mirror. His only caution was, “Don’t believe everything you see. There is more behind the mirror.” The child nodded and looked into the mirror for the first time. Staring back was a beautiful face, but as she smiled at her reflection, her teeth were green and sharp. She covered them up with her hand, and her hands were like claws. Her face recoiled and the eyes bulged out too large for her head. She looked away from the mirror, covered her face, and told her father, “Father, I am hideous!”
The old man knelt down in front of her and said, “Look into my face.” She looked. “What do you see?”
She looked and saw his eyes full of compassion and his gentle smile. She didn’t answer him.
“Remember what I told you when you look into the mirror, “Don’t believe everything you see. There is more behind the mirror.”
“So, I’m not ugly?”
“What you saw was true, but about your heart, and what is in your heart will come through your face.”
“Why were my teeth green and sharp, why did I have claws, why did I have eyes too big for my face?”
“That is something only the Maker of the Mirror can tell you.”
“Where is he?” Blaine asked
“If you look for him, you’ll find him.”
“I don’t think I want to. What if he tells me that what I saw was true?”
“That is something for all people who look into the mirror to decide: What will they do with what they see?” said Henley, and then he put his arm around his daughter and led her out of the Chamber.
That night, after Henley had gone to bed, Blaine got up and went to the mirror chamber alone. She couldn’t help but look again to see if it was the same. She trembled, but she also was drawn inescapably it seemed.
Entering the chamber, she uncovered the full-length mirror framed by golden crafted flowers, but she couldn’t bring herself to look into it. She worked up the courage and looked, and there was a girl who was her, but the more she looked the more distorted the image became. Her nose became pointy, her shoulder’s slumped, her hair falling out. She wanted to smash the mirror as sobs racked her body. She crumpled to the ground crying.
She remembered her father’s words, “Don’t believe everything you see.” But if I’m not supposed to believe it, why did he let me see it? Does the mirror lie? Then, she remembered the second half of what he said, “There is more behind the mirror.” She looked up at the mirror frame. It was wide enough to be a door frame. She covered the mirror, and then grabbing ether side of the mirror, she wiggled it to see if it would move. It moved on the right side.
The mirror swung open, and in that dark chamber, a new doorway opened up. Inside the doorway was a craftsman’s shop. She walked in and saw many crafts hanging on the wall. Many mirrors not like the magic mirror.
She walked past them toward the lamp-light at the workbench on the far side of the Craftsman’s Shop.
“It’s a bit late” said the voice of a man with a tinker’s helmet on at the work bench “To be up and about, isn’t it?”
“Who are you?” said Blaine shakily.
“I am a craftsman.”
“Are you the Maker of the Mirror?”
“I am.” said the man.
“Then can you tell me why I saw what I saw?”
“I can, if you want to know.”
“Why were my teeth green and sharp, why did I have claws, why did I have eyes too big for my face? Was it real what I saw or was it a lie?”
“All my looking glasses tell the truth. Your teeth are green and sharp because you are greedy and the things you love are not all good. Your hands have claws because your fear makes you fight others, you had eyes too big for your face because you are proud and think too much of yourself.”
The girl was angry, but slowly as she breathed she knew what he said was true.
“I guess that means I’m ugly. She said sadly.
“Only if you want to stay that way. That is something for all people who look into the mirror to decide: What will they do with what they see?”
“What can I do?”
“Nothing. Your heart is something you don’t have the power to change.”
Her heart sank.
“But that’s not the right question.” continued the craftsman
“What is the right question?”
“‘What can I do?'” Said the Craftsman.
Blaine hesitated, “What can you do?”
“I can show you another mirror.”
He offered her a way over to the other side of the workshop. There was a mirror with a very different frame. It had a ring of thorns around it.
“Will it show me what is in my heart?”
“Yes.” he said.
“Will it be true?”
“Yes. All my looking glasses tell the truth.” he responded gravely.
“But what if I see the ugliness again. I couldn’t bear to see that all again.”
“There is more for you to see if you will seek for it.”
Blaine looked at the thorns, and she felt like she had seen more than she wanted to see already. She turned to leave the craftsman’s shop, but at the doorway of the first mirror she stopped, and her head hung sadly.
“What if my ugliness is really all there is?” She said.
A voice behind her gently called, “It may be, but if you will not look into this mirror, then the mirror outside will be all you have seen. Everyone must look into that mirror, but there is more, if you will see it.”
A tear clouded the surface of her eye, and she blinked it back. She turned back to the craftsman. She walked across the shop, slowly, up to the thorny mirror, and with a feeling like resignation, she lifted her eyes to look.
The face staring back at her was her own. Again she saw the teeth were green, the hands were claws, her eyes too big. She looked and her lips trembled at what she saw. The nose was pointy, her shoulders looked frail and slumped and her hair was falling out.
Then. . . she noticed the other person in the reflection. The Maker of the Mirror stood beside her without his tinkering helmet, and his own reflection came into it, and she saw his face. To her amazement, It was brilliant like the sun shining bright and beautiful, and and she realized the beauty of the heart of the one who stood beside her. It was comforting, but also terrifying, because she saw her own ugliness right next to his beauty.
She looked away from the mirror at him frozen to the spot not sure if she wanted to run or cry.
“Who . . . Who are you?”
“I make things.” He said smiling. “And I also remake things.”
Then, with his two strong hands, he turned the mirror and stepped to the side. Now when she looked into the mirror, all she saw was his reflection glowing at her, and slowly, his reflection, started to take her distortions, and put them on himself. Now He was horrific and ugly looking, his teeth greened, his hands clawed, his eyes big, his nose pointy, his shoulders slumped, and his hair falling out. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing: her ugliness had been transferred to him. She felt so awful that it was her ugliness had caused him to be so disfigured.
Then, he turned the mirror back to her, and she looked and saw her face again. Her face had changed and she gasped. There was no longer any distortion of her features. All of them had been taken away. Instead, her face was glowing and youthful. It beamed like the sun just as His did. She cried again, but this time the tears were happy.
She looked away from the mirror, and saw the Maker standing there, with his eyes full of compassion and love. His own face was still bright with joy.
She was silent.
“How?” she finally asked.
“I made this mirror for you, to remake you.”
“You know me?”
“I’ve been waiting for you. I had hoped you would find me here.” He said.
“My father told me there was more behind the mirror. Why do you hide behind the mirror?”
“Not many people are ready for what I have to show them. Only those who seek me diligently are ready to find me.”
Blaine’s heart was full of peace. “What do I do now?”
“Take this mirror with you. Use it to show others what I have done for you.”
She took the thorny frame into her hands. One of the barbs pricked her finger, and she said, “Ow. Why is my frame so thorny?”
“That, you will understand more in time.” the Maker said.
She took the mirror to her room and went back to sleep. From then on, every time she looked, she remembered the face of the man who made her mirror, and who remade her. And when she grew up, she became the Keeper of the Mirror in place of her father.