“Behind the scenes, sacred synchronicity happens.”
Thus Kel Rolf began her introduction to my guest post on her blog, about aging. We’d seen several examples of it as we (or, rather, God?) coordinated our efforts on that post. And then, even more synchronicity happened…
To illustrate the post, which I’d sent her ahead of time, she created this mixed media art:
Because of technical hindrances, I didn’t get to see it till the final draft was published. But was it ever appropriate, and “timely”!
It grabbed my gut. It haunted.
It reminded me of the scripture that says “Now we see through a glass darkly…” And of something else I’ll share below…
Do you see a face in the window? (In just a glance, you might not.)
When I did on my second glance, it surprised me.
The colors surprised me.
I think I expected any depiction of a window to show wild autumnal colors flying beyond it, the flamboyant, exotic colors of future possibilities. Instead, I got a view inward—and the sense of someone’s inability to see out to those shining possibilities, either in this present life or beyond.
This startle couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Amid the plans with Kel for this cooperative effort, I’d suddenly found myself, my life, surrounded by a mess of varied, bittersweet colors swirling chaotically—more bitter than sweet, I might have said, as I started taking on a view like that of the windowed person above.
But more than that, it led my mind right to the quote I’d “just happened upon” and had almost added to that guest post, but instead withheld for the next post on aging:
Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our lives. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness . . .
But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence… by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.”
The startle that brought me back to the view beyond, to which Nouwen points us, also probed my heart with the question, Where is your focus? On your own reflections in life’s window, or through that glass darkly, to faith-glimpses of glorious beauty, light, and joy beyond?
In future “Themesday” (Thursday) posts on aging and the winter of our lives, I plan to explore the earthly possibilities still dancing free and fresh, beyond the glass of the present year. But even if those possibilities all get crushed and lie crumbled, the view to which Nouwen points us shines, bright and more than hopeful, further beyond. Look out there, strain your vision outward toward God, and you’ll see it. Ask, and He’ll open it up to you.
“Keep on asking, keep on seeking” (Luke 11:9NKJV, AMP).
“For now we see as through a glass darkly, but then face to face” ( 1 Cor 13:12KJV).