Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What pictures to delight in




Wondering around recommended lists of books to order from the Library to bright up our couch story times,  I get stuck into one of the great educator Charlotte Mason's quote "that education is concerned to teach him what pictures to delight in."

While the statement is part of a wider education philosophy, I can't stop thinking about making it mine and applying it into my own angle of life. What pictures to delight in! Isn't that what is missing in society today? The pictures got all mixed up and from a pile of choices we don't know which one to grab. Much less teach our kids how a picture to delight in should look like.

And the world gets darker, our music gets darker, our books get darker, our movies get darker, our habits get darker, our teenagers move deeper into the dark and in the midst of it all we don't even notice anymore the absence of light. The darker the tunnel, the harder to face the sun outside. Why not just make it our home, forget that the sun even exists in the sky?

But no Sun, no life. No Sun, no sustenance. No Sun, no warmth. Isn't delight rooted in light? How to find it outside of its root? No root, no fruit. I want fruits. So I aim to learn alongside my boys what pictures to delight in. We start with the author of light. Who else to show the way?

And there, deep in our couch story time, we let His light transform our eyes. That we may truly see what pictures to delight in look like.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The two sides of the mirror


I stare at the mirror, in front of me, and there she is, looking straight into my eyes: my image. She is a copy of me and yet, she is gone as soon as I leave. She is the other half that stands always next to where I stand, the reflection that tells me the way I am.

However, not all mirrors are true to the image. Some elongate, some shorten the self, some make us look full of blurt beauty, others, full of bare truth. They are a good try, but not the reality. They shine a distorted picture of who I know to be. But do I know who I ought to be?

And the question pounds as the day goes... Is this image the one I am supposed to be or just a distorted version? Because in the beginning a clearer picture was created, the true one, from whom I am only the image, and as distant as I am from that sight, the more I long to be brought closer to it. To become the original copy, before all got blurred.

God looked around, after those first six days of creation and saw that it was good. Nature was good, seasons were good, the ocean with its bubbling life and the earth with moving creeping things all singing praises and reflecting the miracle of creation were good. Man steps in, and then the woman, completion. A place with fullness of good.

Isn't a place abundant with good and with God's glory, enough? A material world without the distortion, the cracked mirrors, rewarded with beauty's full sight, carrying God's touch in every touch? But there was more to see, yes, the hidden truth, the one God had kept out of creation, the chaos, the evil, rotting death. And who would want to see it, when it would stop the smile, the praising, the joy? But Eve wanted to see the other side of the mirror, the one God had kept out, for a good reason.

She peaked and in an instant was swelled by it. Sure she could know good and evil now, but the other side of the mirror, where evil, chaos and rotting death is, is Godless. It is dark, ugly and it hurts. Eve wanted to be like God, but how could the moon be like the sun when its purpose is only to reflect and not to produce light?

A distorted image looks at me. Because the true image is far gone, the one that stayed in the Garden, the one supposed to have lasted. And all we got is a resemblance of how good it once looked, a mirror covered in steam, rays of light escaping here and there but oh, so much pain. Painful to be stuck in the wrong side of the mirror.

As I read through my Bible I start to see the light, the way out of this sinking reality. God gifted us with a way to a real image, not the first one, but a heavenly one, even better. A new man! A new women! A new creation!! How can that be possible? "As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man". 1 Cor 15:49

A step outside the peeking in. A rescue from the ugly, dark, shadow cloud. Christ Jesus steps into this wrong side of the mirror, to free us out of it, even when it meant to pour Himself like water, to feel all the glass pieces tearing Him apart. And yet, He starts a new beginning, away from wrong sides and distorted images. A firstborn of the new creation, an open way to followers. "To be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among may brethren". Rom 8:29

There is still hope, even inside this present, the start of healing. "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" 2 Cor 3:18. It beholds in letting it go of trying to be gods, burying ourselves in Jesus arms, grabbing unto His salvation with repentance, letting His grace soften the last bits of no's, allowing His glory to shine.

Can we see the whole picture? Can we soak in His love and trust? Peak at the other side and rest assured that this is only a distorted image awaiting for His full glory to make all things right? Can we live by faith?

"The Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself". Phi 3:21
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