Seeing through the glass, darkly


Today I turn my eyes to my own face and not my neighbour’s. I am reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

The word for glass is esoptrou (from esoptron – damn wordpress for having no greek alphabet), which can also be used to describe a mirror. Substitute ‘mirror’ for ‘glass’ and I think the whole verse has a new meaning:

For now we look into a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Maybe others have noticed this before, maybe I’ve been asleep when the vicar waxed lyrical on this verse, but I have always read this as looking for God, seeing through a glass darkly to know Him. Now I know it’s not. Now I know that the promise is to know yourself as God knows you. This is not necessarily a comforting thought.

I am on a commute – except I’m not at this moment in time. Instead I am remembering my commute and wondering why I do it. Not the travelling, but the work. Pete Rollins in his latest book relates the story of a priest who finds that everyone he prays for loses their faith. I won’t re-tell the story here because Pete tells it much better (and I’m not sure about copyright laws) but the man who is not the priest in the story is the one I find myself dwelling upon.

To all intents and purposes I am in a role that hard-bitten Christian city types would change to in an instant, were the house prices lower (give it time) and London not quite so expensive. But in this sector there are management failings and public sector schmoozing and bad investment choices, just as in any other. There are wasters on facebook and addictees to Solitaire, there are greedy bastards taking charity money to fund their lifestyle, there are well-intentioned employees with passion but no skills, and there are people like me.

I know I am looking through a glass darkly. Forget darkly, at times it seems opaque. And I wonder what my neighbours see of me.


One thought on “Seeing through the glass, darkly

  1. Very nice post. I’ve recently been thinking a lot lately about this particular passage of scripture. I wonder, as we look toward The Father and keep our eyes firmly on him, is the natural course that we begin to see our own selves as we are seen? I think so. At least in my own life that has been my experience. Well done! God Bless!

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