1 Corinthians 13:12 – What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete — as complete as God's knowledge of me. (GNB)
Not too long after the terrorist attack at the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, I decided that it was time to return to my home church. It had been a long time since I had sat in a church pew. I had to go, to find something, comfort, reason, understanding, but mostly comfort.
It felt familiar and comfortable just walking up the front steps of the church. I noticed the faces so familiar from days gone past, and then, the sound of old hymns from my youth, that I had heard and sung so often in the Baptist churches of my cousins. I could actually softly sing the words that went with the medley from the piano at the front of the church.
I found my way up the stairs to the balcony, sat in a familiar pew, and bowed my head in prayer. As I straightened up at the end of my prayer, I looked for the familiarity and the comfort of the beautiful stained glass windows that I had always enjoyed. The light streamed through the windows in a way that I had never seen before — the two larger stained glass windows were gone! I stood up and found an usher, who told me, "They are out to be refurbished, and should return soon."
I returned to my seat, and realized that that was the first time that I had ever seen the outside world through the church windows. The roofs formed interesting patterns of slate and tile perched on top of old brick houses. I had always admired the windows for the beauty of the stained glass, but I had not realized that my view of the real world had quietly been blocked.
That was much like my view of the world had been before September 11. I did not really see the world as it was, but only as seen through stained glass. Before me now was a view of the world that captured my attention in a way that it never had before.
Prayer: Lord, help us to look at the real world, and try to find your way through all that we have seen and heard. Enable us to look for your beauty and love in our world. Help to realize that you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that you will lead us back to peace. Amen.