How Do You Read the Bible?
(James 1:22-25)

Each mirror, I think, has inspectors
    who, acting as corporate protectors,
Must find any scratch, every unseemly patch.
    They’re inferior mirror detectors.

The head of this group is Pierre,
    Who trains his formidable stare
On each glass for an hour, and does he turn sour
    When finding some blemishes there!

This man, so well-trained as a peerer,
    Has no practical use for a mirror.
His hair’s such a tangle, seen from any angle,
    You wish that his mirror were clearer.

“Pierre,” I repeatedly mention,
    “Your hair’s now a bone of contention.
Now, sir, you just hush! I have bought you a brush,
    And some spray for your hairdo’s retention.”

Do you think that such mild conversation
    Will effect any quick transformation?
Not until he observes what is fraying our nerves:
    His nightmare-hair irritation.

Now we know there’s been many a preacher
    Or a prideful, and self-proclaimed teacher
Who examine God’s mirror and cry, “Could be clearer!”
    But never see what kind of creature
The mirror for them has reflected.
    They must face what they never expected:
If the glass is looked through, then so clear is the view
    That the critics themselves are inspected.

—Steve Singleton