Daily Devotion - Thursday, January 28, 2016
I finally got my computer fixed the other day. For two months or more I've been staring at only half of the display on my laptop. A freak accident cracked the glass on the screen, and turned half of it into a bunch of pulsating, lines that would grow even more dense and fuzzy the longer the computer was left on.
All of my efforts at getting it fixed were thwarted over the holidays and beyond, so I had to learn how to use my computer when I couldn't see a number of the controls I normally used to write, create stuff, edit things I was writing and the like. I couldn't do anything about it, so I reoriented my display, learned shortcuts and persevered.
Yesterday I went and picked up my newly restored computer, and turned it on. After so many weeks of only being able to see half of my screen, it was amazing to see the whole display. I finally could see what I was doing when I was editing, writing and creating. Controls that had basically been hidden from me were now accessible, and I was able to use the full spectrum of them at last to get my work done.
I started thinking about how many other areas in my life might be just like that--where I wasn't able to see the whole picture. I thought about all of the circumstances, people, situations even my own beliefs and convictions where things were a bit fuzzy and not at all clear. If we're being honest, most of our lives are spent trying to decipher the true picture of things beneath all of the distortion.
And instead of finding new ways to see more clearly, we simply put up with the fuzziness and try to figure out how to work around it. And before too long, the distortion becomes the norm. We get used to it. We lose our vision for what we could see if we had the right lenses.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his first letter to the church at Corinth. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 he writes, "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."
Paul was writing about a day when all the fuzzy things in his life would become clear to him--a day when the kingdom of God was here on earth, Jesus was fully revealed in Creation and all things were put to rights by the power of the Holy Spirit of God in Christ. His vision was a vision for the future, but as in all of Paul's writings there was an element of the "now" in the midst of the "not yet."
Even though we don't have the benefit of God's all-encompassing wisdom and vision, even though we live in a world that has not yet fully realized Jesus as Lord, we still have moments where we can glimpse the whole picture.
Maybe it's a moment where you realize that angry person you can't seem to get along with is dealing with pain, sorrow or loss and you see them differently. Or when you realize in a flash there was actually a reason for that one thing that happened to you years ago--the thing that caused you so much pain, and that you couldn't figure out why at the time.
Maybe you catch a glimpse of how the world could be through an act of kindness or a story of redemption. Maybe you look in the mirror and finally see that you are so much more than the negative self-talk you've always used to describe yourself.
May you take comfort in knowing that although you can't always see the whole picture, you serve a God who can. May you find new lenses, new eyes to see the world and everything in it as God sees it. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.