05 Oct
Seeing Dimly


I stood in a museum this summer and peered at round, green disks—mirrors made of bronze now oxidized to a minty patina. They captured my imagination and caused my mind to say, “Aha!” Even polished to a glossy shine, these circles would only show a vague outline of a person’s face or hair. 

The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and said, “For now we see only a 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.” (1 Cor 13:12) In the old King James version, this verse is translated “now we see through a glass, darkly.” I’ve always loved those words for their poetic weight. Standing in that museum, though, they were no longer poetic—they were literal… well understood. 

There is a lot we don’t know, see, or understand. We see dimly, darkly, in vague shapes and colors. As I stood before this display case, I accepted the mystery of God in a new way. What grace that he gives us a glimpse of comprehension, what blessing that we may exercise our faith muscles and know someday we will see clearly! 

In the meantime, it is such grace and delight when moments of clarity arrive. I sense the Divine and incredible discernment when we really know that we know that we know… Spiritual sight does come. For those stuck in dimness and darkness, may you trust the mystery. For those who sense the puzzle pieces suddenly coming together, or see brightly for the instant of a lightening strike, may you trust that clarity, too. 

May the metaphors of life and of scripture continue to come alive for us in ways that enlarge our conceptualization of an utterly unfathomable God.

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