Through a Glass, Darkly

Driving along one of our California freeways, I looked at the mountain and saw the fortress-looking building atop Mount Umunhum in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. This former Radar Tower was once a key part of the west coast’s air defense system. The tall, square cement building looks immovable, impenetrable, a lone sentry with nothing visible to the naked eye to minimize its impact on the visible landscape.

Two years ago Don, my mother and I drove to Umunhum. The winding road was beautiful, twisty, interesting. About half a mile from the top of the mountain the line of cars came to a halt. We thought that by driving up on Thanksgiving Day there would be little traffic. Evidently others had the same idea.

With only 50 parking spaces at the top, there was quite a wait for cars to leave. Mom and I needed to use the facilities. I thought about walking up the last distance but the twisty road prevented us from seeing how far it was, and I didn’t know how far Mom could walk. So we waited.

We crept to the top where, finally, a handicapped spot opened. We pulled into it, placing Mom’s card on the dash. There was that big, square cement structure. But now it had shrubs and trees and brush around it, a display board, restroom, outbuildings and walking paths.

What a change in perspective–from seeing a stark building against the sky, to being next to that bulky tower, seeing the life and buildings on the same mountaintop and a 360-degree view of the Santa Clara Valley.

How often is my perspective warped because of the angle I’m looking at, the preconceived notions through which I’m viewing a situation, or my own biases?

This beautiful old hymn expresses the desire of my heart:

Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.

Open my ears, that I may hear
voices of truth thou sendest clear;
and while the wavenotes fall on my ear,
everything false will disappear.

Open my mouth, and let me bear
gladly the warm truth everywhere;
open my heart and let me prepare
love with thy children thus to share.

Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

I want to see clearly. How about you?

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 also am known.

I Corinthians 13:12 NKJV

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