Through a glass grubbily


Bridget and I treat our glasses very badly - when we’ve got them, that is.

Now that neither of us can read without spectacles the number of possible locations for glasses just put aside for a moment while we do something else is virtually endless. Under the bed, on top of the bed but hidden among the sheets, in dressing-gown pockets, on the floor of any one of three toilets, down among the biscuit crumbs behind the sofa cushions or hidden by one of us so that the other of us can’t pinch them when we’ve lost our own, except that the one of us who hid them there can’t remember where we put them in the first place - these are just a few of the possibilities.

Nor do we clean them very well. Often, when we think our sight is seriously deteriorating, it’s just marmalade, or toothpaste, or steam from the bath. The Bible teaches that now, we see as through a glass darkly. That just about sums it up. Very fitting, because we are very scriptural.

An update on us? Well, the whole spectacle thing sums it up actually. We remain intensely curious about the past, the present, and the incalculable future. Everything and everyone seems to require some kind of amplification or magnification or extra light, and we seek it where we can, in the hope of discovering some useful fragment of truth.

We hope God will help us to avoid making a gross error in determining the next phase of our lives, but if he does make that next step visible, I really hope one of us will remember where our glasses are. Suppose he wanted us in Bradford and we read Bahamas. That would be dreadful, wouldn’t it?