As Saint Paul tells us in Corinthians, humans see spiritual reality darkly. This phrase is key, in the face of the Almighty God, who holds the entire universe in His hands. It reminds us not to be proud or too dogmatic but humble in the face of the Eternal. If we are honest, we know very little about God; no human is an expert on God.
As Thomas Merton said,
“Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.”
As scripture explains:
“Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD” Isaiah 40:13
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts,” Isaiah 55:8,9
A fascinating piece of art captures our life lived on this side of the veil which separates us from the unseen. The sculpture is called “Alice Through the Looking Glass” located in Guildford’s Castle Grounds (Surrey, UK.) in a walled garden behind the bowling green, close to the house where Lewis Carroll used to live.
This sculpture also reminds me of the scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:12
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.
This prayer by Merton is humble and honest:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
― Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
2 thoughts on “Remember, We Only See Darkly”
Thank you for sharing these encouraging thoughts, Melanie. The most important thing is not to know why God does things, but to know that we are in His hands, even when we are surrounded by darkness.
yes- well said