Just a Thought
Looking into a mirror, dimly, that’s the reality of the world as we see it
When Mozart was young, having come home after an evening with friends and his father already asleep, Wolfgang would go to the piano, and would play a rising scale of notes, getting slower and louder as they reached the resolution at the top of the scale; and then he would stop, one note short, and go to bed himself. Old Leopold, so the story goes, would toss and turn as the unfinished scale came into his dreams. Frustration without resolution became too hard to bear; he would drag himself from his bed, stagger downstairs, and play the last note.
There is a spirit abroad in our world today that seems to say that it is we who already are the last note. The wise person however, continues to look for meaning and for purpose, and many find that in faith built on hope.
We seem to believe we are the most successful species, we are the most important; we dominate and own this floating-spinning-ball, our world, and all knowledge is to be understood from our perspective. We perceive the purpose of life, is, quite simply, us. And here-in lies the problem and the self-deception. We can only ever see the world as if reflected ‘in a mirror, dimly’. Honesty says that our lives are a partial reflection of what could be: the mirror is not clear, it does not show what is yet to come.
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
[The Bible: 1 Corinthians 13.12]
Humanity has a purpose, but we are not it. Christians are confident that our purpose lies in the hope of eternal life. They say this from their experience of love. Love is at the heart of their experience of being in a relationship with God. Scriptures say God is love, and as I understand that love, I am, for all my struggles, in harmony with God’s will. This is where my sure and certain hope of eternal life is found. Earthly love is a metaphor lighting the invisible mystery I know as God. God loves me in my humanity and I love God as my creator, mother, father. Earthly love points to divine love; it shows us what God is like.
C.S. Lewis put it thus: “A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. [Women and men] feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire, which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it that does not prove that the universe is a fraud.
Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it to suggest the real thing.”
[Mere Christianity p.119-120]
Experience of this life is not knowledge ending suddenly and abruptly with our death. You look now into a mirror, dimly, and perhaps understand that life is an unfinished scale, waiting to be finished. Not here, not by us; but by God.
Revd. Simon Lewis
Rector of the Benefice of Blagdon with Charterhouse, Compton Martin and Ubley