A gravitational lens is a mass of matter that’s capable of bending light as it travels toward the observer.

It struck me that this isn’t terribly different from what happens to metaphorical illumination––truth, wisdom, understanding––when human beings reach for it. Our nature prevents us from perceiving reality perfectly. It bends through us. The observer effect is writ large in me, as in you. Because of this, if I ever mistake what my eyes see for the exact form of the Real, I’m in trouble.

At the same time, that is bona fide light coming at me. Sure, it gets filtered through all my weaknesses and biases and limitations before I manage to form a single thought about it, but there’s beauty even in the incomplete picture it paints through my eyes.  

In fact, that picture occasionally takes my breath away.

That’s all I’m trying to share here.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

––1 Corinthians 13:12, ESV


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