A few Sundays ago I had what can delicately be described as a “wardrobe malfunction.” It was not nearly as sensational as the infamous episode a decade ago during the half-time of the Super Bowl, but it was nevertheless inconvenient. The right arm (or is it a leg?) of my eye glasses fell off and despite all my efforts it would not reassemble. In ten minutes I would be preaching and unless something changed I would be preaching in the dark. Actually, it would be more like preaching in the blur. I trotted in a stumbling, woozy, nearsighted-kind-of way to my car which now seemed to be inconveniently parked on the upper lot to retrieve an old pair of glasses that would see me through the day (get the pun?). By the time I returned to the worship service in progress it was five minutes before the sermon and I was rumpled, ruffled and not a little bit sweaty. I imagine you think that preachers are in a blissful state of prayer and union with God right before the sermon, but on that particular day I was just trying to survive.
That afternoon with some crazy glue I temporarily repaired my glasses and was able to enjoy the Sunday paper without much squinting. The following week I returned to the optical store to have my glasses repaired and it was there I learned that there was a recall notice on my glasses – a recall! I have been wearing glasses since I was seven and have never once had a pair that was later recalled. Whoever heard of such? Was there concern that the airbags would not deploy properly or that the brakes might fail?
Not only could my glasses not be repaired, I had to now pick out a new set of frames and begin again the break-in period of a new pair of glasses. I plan to go later this week for the arduous task of trying on different frames and trusting someone else’s opinion as to whether they look good on me or not. After all, I cannot tell what the frames look like on my face because, you guessed it, I am not wearing my glasses!
Paul’s words take on a new meaning for me: “For now we see through a glass, dimly…” (1 Corinthians 13:12, KJV with a minor Greg DeLoach translation).
Such is life for all of us. Our view and perspective, even at its best, is still incomplete and partial. Thanks be to God for the words and lives of others that help us in our sight, like a trusty pair of glasses. Scripture, tradition, community and friendship help us stumble through this world. Indeed, for now see through a glass dimly… But in time, in God’s generous time, “…then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
Grateful to look alongside you, making our way through this world and enjoying the sites,