Looking Through a Darkened Glass
by Carl Light
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Imagine if you will that a woman is born and raised in an isolated underground facility. She is completely shut off from the rest of the world. There are no windows, no television, no radio, no newspapers, no magazines or photos of any kind. There are no clues to what even "outdoors" is like let alone the rest of the world. Imagine that she is fed intravenously and so she never tastes anything. Everything is sterile. Imagine there are no plants; neither real nor artificial to give this person a clue as to what they may look like.
Imagine everything in this facility is "white". The floor, the walls, the ceiling, the furniture, the dishes, the towels, the clothes, the shoes and everything else is white. There are no mirrors in this facility to give a clue as to what a human face looks like. The caretakers of this woman are dressed in white and also wear white masks so that she never gets to see a human face including her own.
They never see an animal or a butterfly. No one hugs them. They never receive a kiss. Now imagine that this person has all these things explained and described to them even though they are not allowed to see even a photo, a video, or even a drawing of anything outside the facility.
She knows that on her 25th birthday, she will be taken out into the world to see and experience all these things. It has been a lifetime anticipation to see, touch, taste, hear, and smell all these things that have been described in detail to her throughout her whole life. She has created images in her mind of all these things based on descriptions; except for color because no one has ever been able to describe color in a way that she could understand.
She don't know what she wants to see first; a tree, grass, a could, sunshine, the wide-open spaces, or just a human face (perhaps even her own!).
Can you imagine the excitement she would have swelling up inside her as her 25th birthday approaches? Imagine that day has come and she is taken blindfolded to a beautiful place for her first view of the world. She is standing on the bank of a clear mountain stream near the foot of a waterfall. The bank of the stream is covered with grass and is shaded by tall oak, maple and hickory trees which branches reach out over the stream causing broken rays of sun light to sparkle and dance on the water. A Doe and her fawn are drinking from the stream on the other side. Squirrels are playing in the trees all around. The scent of wild honeysuckle fills the air. A woodpecker is busy working in one of the nearby trees. Behind her are rolling fields of wild flowers.
Then... her blindfold is removed. Her breath is nearly taken away. Which wonders overtake her first? Perhaps it is simply the vastness of "outdoors". Perhaps it is seeing color for the firs time after a lifetime of only white, grays and black. Maybe it is seeing the faces of people for the first time. Maybe it is all of it at once. Her awe is as indescribable. She looks all around her. She sees the deer across the stream and she is in awe. She sees the towering trees and she is in awe. She sees the grass and the flowers and the stones and the sunlight and she is in awe. She sees human faces and she is in awe. She smells the fresh air, the honey suckle, and the flowers and she is in awe. Someone approaches her and gives her a hug for the first time. Even though she has never had human contact before, she instinctively responds to love and returns the embrace. As her eyes are filled with tears of joy, someone hands her a peeled orange. She tastes food for the first time. Taste like color is something no one could explain. It had to be experienced. The sweetness of the orange is as awesome to her tongue as the scenery is to her eyes.
She spent her whole life creating images in her mind of what all these things would be like according to their description and she thought she had created images of beauty in her mind; but now she realizes she had no concept of what beauty really was. The things she had imagined were not even worthy to compare with this reality.
Realize now that her experiences of wonders has only just begun. Though her awe has been beyond description, she has yet to see snow-capped mountains, deep canyons, deserts, cities, and so many other things. There are so many things yet to see, touch, taste, and smell. It will be one glorious day after another for her!
Do you ever think about what Heaven must be like? I'm sure we all have. Poets and artist try to capture it with words and paintings, but the bible tells us...
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 7:9
I believe we are like this woman still locked inside that facility, not yet being able to see those things she has been promised to see. She had some information by description. She even had an excellent imagination. Her imagination however could only be made up of her life's experiences and those things of which she was familiar. No amount of detailed description with words was able to even approach the reality of what she was finally able to see when it was revealed. Just like that woman, we think we know what happiness and joy is, but I don't think we have a clue; Not yet.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
I believe the biggest difference between this fictional woman's experience when she experienced the world and our experience of Heaven will be that our joy and awe will be even far greater than hers. The best part is that this is not a fantasy for me... I'm going there!
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