The dog and I enjoy a morning walk together. Being a creature of habit I always go on the same route. Up over Winey Hill. When we crest the summit of our 75 metre climb I like to look back over the London skyline. It still excites me to think of living in the Big Smoke!
"Ooo there's the Shard." I say to myself (not out loud...). "Ooh there's Canary Wharf. Ooh there's the London Eye!" On a clear day you feel like you could reach out across the 15 miles between us and touch them.
The problem is that sometimes it is literally the Big Smoke. Like this morning. There's a dim outline of the buildings, but they are indistinct in a heat haze and pollution.
The Bible teaches us that our vision of God's love to us in Jesus is much like this. At best dim.
"For now I see only a reflection as in a mirror, then I shall see face to face." 1 Corinthians 13:12
The mirrors of the apostle Paul's day were polished metal, so what you saw of yourself was a bit blurred round the edges and deformed in the middle. Come to think of it I find that the mirrors of today do this to me!
There are moments when we know and feel God's love in Jesus more intimately. A particular time of Bible reading or prayer. A song that captures the truths of the gospel beautifully. I can find myself weeping tears of joy (even though I went to boarding school I'm still Welsh!).
But incredibly even the best experience and understanding that we have of Jesus now, is an unclear and hazy taster of what we will know when we go to be with him. Either when we die or on His return. On that day the blurring of our vision caused by our sinful desires will be finally cleared away and we shall see Jesus in perfect clarity. Face to face.