Notes from the Waxhaws

Behind the curtain

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There’s a gauzy, lace-like curtain in the window of my living room. The flowers that are woven into the curtain…while beautiful in and of themselves…obstruct the real view that lies behind the curtain. This morning, I was thinking how they’re a lot like our concepts and constructs of who…or what…we think God is. Some parts of the curtain are almost…but not quite…transparent, and offer a glimpse of the real world beyond. Other parts of the curtain…the interesting bits…like the lacy flowers and leafy vines, are quite opaque, and draw my attention from what lies on the other side.

Sometimes…I like to gaze at the world outside my window through the closed curtain. It hides all the perceived imperfections and rough edges, imparting a soft and comforting warm glow to a world that, at times, can seem anything but completely benign. But at other times, when I’m feeling brave…I’ll draw open the curtains, tying them back on each side of the window with little corded loops…beholding the sometimes overwhelming beauty of an especially fine morning.

Can we know God in this life? How do we go about knowing? Are we gazing at the little flowers and vines on the curtain…because they’re easier to apprehend and understand…our grand systems of thoughts and concepts that hold our attention, while the truth…the only truth…lies waiting in silence behind those wispy patterns that so intrigue us?

Written by Jim

March 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm

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