#780: From a Glass Darkly



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Reflections by the Pond
October 3, 2016

The errant robin struck the bedroom window with such force that some of what had been inside him was left behind on the glass. Not just a smattering of feathers, but something dark and smeary. As a result, he was left not just winded, but dead, on the ground below.

It is a common occurrence. Birds of all stripes and breeds see in the windows a reflection of the surrounding landscape and mistake it for the real thing. Imagining a clear, unencumbered vista before them, they instead slam into hard glass and, at least, lie stunned and winded for a while as they recover. Often, however, they break their necks, and die almost immediately.

Of course, even if they survive the collision, being left only winded and with a raging headache may not be the end of the bird's troubles. While the chickadee or nuthatch or hawk sits there, gasping for breath and regaining his vision, he may become an easy meal for a passing feline.

° ° °

For we know in part and we prophesy in part...
For now we see in a mirror dimly...
Now I know in part...

Humility is an unappetizing meal that few voluntarily select from the menu. We would far rather expound on the small chapbook we know, than confess to the vast libraries we do not. Man's brain may be larger than a sparrow's, but in its earthbound form it is still too small to hold much of anything at all.

The brain's limited capacity is further reduced by all the dubious information we pour into it every day. Even when we pay a visit to today's digital storehouses of knowledge, the information we come away with is often so corrupted as to be of questionable worth. Pick a topic, any topic, and listen to the mindless drivel people think they know about it.

That which our eyes and ears take in is a dim reflection indeed.

° ° °

We know so little of God. Some of us think we know much about Him, but compared to what there is to know, it fills but one page from the library.

...but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away
...but then face to face
...but then I will know fully

For the Christian there will come a day, however, when all that there is to know about God will be known. There will come a day when our knowledge of Him will be not secondhand, but firsthand. We will look upon His face—even that seems impossible, from our small knowledge of Him—and learn all there is from the one and only truly reliable Source.

Even before that glorious, unimaginable day, however, we can stop wasting time gazing at ourselves in cloudy mirrors. We can stop plowing headlong into hard reality when we think we see the clear way. We can stop listening to idiots, and those of well-meaning ignorance. We can stop piddling about with half-truths, and what-ifs, and uninformed maybes.

Our time here, where God has left us to serve Him and become like Him and learn of Him through His word, is too brief to waste time peering into dark, beguiling glass.

° ° °

For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:9-12