With the joyful arrival of our new photo directories, many people have had the opportunity to read my reflection, titled Seeing 20/20 which I wrote in the fall of 2019, long before the words pandemic, lockdown, and quarantine had become part of our everyday conversations. I spent a bit of time looking at it again recently and realized that while it was written in the hope and spirit of looking forward to 2020, it is just as applicable now as we shift our thoughts toward gradual reopening. Here it is (with a few mid-pandemic edits).
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.”
(1 Corinthians 13:12)
Mirrors have come a long way since their inception but they still don’t show us reality. Even the very best mirror distorts the reality it is reflecting. Words are backwards, angles are slightly off, shapes can be distorted by the smallest nick, bend, or bevel. Mirrors are not windows, they can only show us a partially obstructed glimpse of reality, they cannot show us what lies ahead in the distance.
They say that hindsight is 20/20 but that is only partially true. Looking back only tells us what has been, it still does not show us what lies on the horizon. Yet, as people of faith, we put our trust in that which we have not seen. While we cannot predict what the future will bring, we can look forward with faith and hope. These may not give us the perfectly clear and certain picture we want in the moment, but with the Spirit, they sustain us and encourage us as we move boldly forward. We trust that God continues to show us the way through the power of the Holy Spirit and that one day, with the Creator’s perfect timing, we will see all that has been promised.
As we continue to live through this time of pandemic, something none of us could have even imagined in late 2019 and something few of us would have predicted we would be still living in 2021, may we learn to live into the mystery and the hope of our current moment, fuzzy and uncertain though the future may be.
Whether online or in-person we continue to walk together in faithful worship and service, keeping our eyes on Jesus in whom we put our trust. I look forward to seeing what God is even now preparing us for as we continue to tell the stories of what the Spirit is doing already.
Grace and Peace, Rev. Bethany McCaffrey
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