Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Sneak Preview : As In A Mirror

We had a sneak preview of heaven last week. Rob met a man from the past. Someone we had worked with when he was a teen. Someone we had not kept in touch with over the years.

We had found our work with children and adolescents rewarding but somehow incomplete. Unpredictable work. Often unappreciated work. Exhausting work. By its nature, it was work for which we had not always followed the outcome. We seldom knew how stories ended.

This is what my husband learned. This man from the past had been part of our camp staff when he was a young teen. A pot boy. (Talk about unappreciated work!) For whatever reason, now thankfully shrouded in time, we had fired him. Gulp! But the following Christmas, seeing his potential, we had cast him as the lead in a play. And the following spring, when he applied again to work at camp, we hired him, and he had a terrific summer. The trust we invested bore fruit.

Wracked with tears of joy and relief, my husband told me 'the ending". This man had treasured our years together. They were life changing for him. And now as a mature person in ministry, he used these experiences as a benchmark. "All my life," he told Rob, "all my life I have used this as my model for what forgiveness is all about."

Oh God, how blind we are. How little we know what we do. Somehow, we do right, almost by default. Unknowingly. And most of the time, we have absolutely no idea of the impact of our actions on the lives of those to whom we minister.

There are othe elements to this story which are highly personal and not mine to share. But this revelation touched both of us deeply and heaven's doors slid open just a crack. For a moment we were permitted a glimpse of face to face, the Love of God working itself out in a life.

1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a poor 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. NIV

"Through a glass darkly."
What could it mean?
Mystery.
Promise.
Comfort.
We grasp for reality,
struggle to shape meaning,
to see God at work.
Then Purpose reveals
Love
magnified in the mirror.
Clarity.
A Divine moment
of face to face,
and sneak preview of heaven.

Constance 3/5/05

7 comments:

steph said...

How beautiful Connie to "see" this.
This speaks of justing doing, being, following, knowing that we don't need to look at our footprints, we just follow the ones Yeshua gives us to walk in.

Kristin said...

So beautiful!

upwords said...

This made me cry.

Thank you,
Mary

bobbie said...

as one who works with teens i too have this experience. it can be very discouraging until you are able to see some of the fruit (years down the road).

hurray for you and rob, i'm so proud to be your friend!

friend said...

That is beautiful and the way it should be.

Praying Mantis

Anonymous said...

Connie: I loved this. I loved it because what it reminds me is how important it is to model Christ. To be his hands and feet in every situation. I think about this especially as I am with my own children. What will they remember about how I acted, how I treated them, how I disciplined. It also reminds of the many young people I have had influence over as a teacher. Wow. What a responsibility and God continues to show me that when I am being his hands and feet - they notice and are influenced, for the most part, for good. Thanks for the reminder. It helps to give me a sense of significance today. Bless you. Cathie

Anonymous said...

We truly never know the extent of impact we can make in other peoples lives- good or bad. Just in passing- by showing a little kindness to another stranger, taking the time to listen to someone who has no one else to talk to in the grocey store-or even letting someone infront of you during rush hour. We can also make a negative impact by harsh words and actions that may alter a persons day-or they could choose to hold on to that for the rest of their lives. We really never know.
B