Friday, July 23, 2010
Life in Soft Focus
No matter how crystal-clear any given 'something' may seem to us, almost all of life is seen in soft focus.
Sometimes this is because of the layers upon layers of personal histories and evolutions that have been heaped a top of each other over years, decades, even centuries. All of the differing ways man has drummed up, since the beginning of time, to explain the unexplainable. One lens placed in front of another, and then another... on and on. We can't even know the real sharpness of Truth. The times we are gifted with such acuity leave us bleeding.
The Truth cuts as the Sword passes through.
Apart from Grace there is no way to survive it.
I started thinking about this in my process of choosing what books I will use to teach my kids. I have searched and searched for the books that will tell it like it really is. The history book with no revisions, no agenda on either side of any debate. The science book with just the facts, thank-you-ma'am.
You are laughing right now. I'll bet you are! You are either laughing because you 'know' you have those books on your own shelf (and anyways, what good Christian doesn't know the truth when she sees it?), or you are laughing because you know that such books do not exist.
If that was the end of the story then either case would be cause for great despair.
But there is Grace.
His name is Jehovah Jireh and He provides.
He gives us the Truth as we can handle it. As it is, we cannot handle all of it.... perhaps we cannot handle much of it at all. Because we can not handle Him. And where is the boundary between God and Truth? Where does One begin and the Other end?
But His Word is the Truth! you say.
Yes, it most certainly is. And how are you handling that? Do you have it all figured out? If you say yes, the conversation ends. I simply don't believe you.
His word is Truth, but not all of it. Sola Scriptura has it's limitations. As true as every written word in the Holy Scriptures is, He is not contained within those words.
Perhaps that is why so much of scripture teaches us how to live while we are awaiting His complete revelation to us.
Let's look to the latter part of the love chapter... 1 Corinthians 13: 9-13,
"For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
I've stopped searching for those history and science books. Oh, we will learn about history and we will learn about science. We will continue to read all sorts of books and we will continue to wrestle with the greatest Book. While there isn't an ounce of me that believes that any Truth is relative, we will search for Truth knowing we will sometimes get it wrong.
And we will be thankful for the Grace that covers us in the midst of the Truth we cannot handle.