Scripture: Paul wrote: “Now we see but a poor
reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know
in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians
was one of those “Aha!” moments. I happened to glance up and note
my reflection in the window, mirroring my every move as I sat eating my
breakfast on a dark, wintery morning. I thought, “What a perfect example
of Paul’s allegory of “Seeing through a glass darkly“ in the ‘Love
Chapter’ of his letter to the Corinthians.” (Chapter 13, King
I knew what lay outside, on the other side of the window,
but I could see nothing, because the contrast between my lighted table and
the night outside transformed the window glass into a mirror, albeit an
So that’s what Paul was talking about! We are unable
to see the heavenly kingdom from the light of this life, seeing only an imperfect
image of ourselves, because of the contrast of what is, and what is to be.
If I sit long enough, watch and wait long enough, the
dawning will come. First, I will start to see a glimmer of red, presaging
the advent of the dawn. I will begin to note the outlines of the trees in
the woods, ghostly shapes only, backlit by the rising sun.
Soon, the image of the garage will take shape, although
just a dark, blank area at first. Soon, I know, my image in the glass will
fade, and the scene of God’s great kingdom will fill my view in all its
It was there all along; there was just such a contrast
between the two worlds that the larger, more permanent one, was invisible.
By the time I sat down for my noon meal, the once hidden
had been made plain. I could readily see the roughness of the bark on the
trees, the branches moving slightly in the breeze. Squirrels use it for
both a home and a gym, scurrying about, seeking their own lunch. Birds visit
the feeders, placed there for the purpose of both providing them with food
and us humans with visual enjoyment. Now the mirror effect is reversed;
we can watch them, while they can not see us.
There is a vital, everlasting truth here. When we see
ourselves only, though as in a glass, darkly, we focus on the image that
we do see, not on the image of the world on the other side. Even though we
leave the table and the window, in essence, we continue to focus on “our”
world, and not God’s world.
Sometimes we need reminders of what lies on the “other
side.” Regular times for meditation, for worship, Bible reading, and contemplation,
bring us back for the ‘meal’ at the ‘window,’ to reveal God in all of His
January 7, 2007
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