program was just ending. I had flicked on the TV to
catch the next program and, as I settled myself in the
chair, an image on the screen caught my eye. It was
a portion of a house, two windows set in a wall. The
picture was quite detailed, but there was something
about the scene, something unusual, that made me study
a moment, a disturbance ran through the picture. I thought
it might be electrical interference. It happened again,
very subtly. It was as though the lines composing the
picture had altered for a moment and then recomposed
themselves. The phenomenon occurred several times. I
wondered how something substantial like a house could
waver like that, as though it were made of light rather
than brick and mortal.
the camera started to pull back, causing the windows
to recede into the distance. I watched intently, expecting
to see more of the house. But the picture became more
confusing. Instead of a larger area of the wall, I began
to see objects alongside the windows that were not part
of the house at all: shrubs, rocks, earth, grass.
the camera continued to move backward, I suddenly realized
that I had been watching the reflection of the house
on the surface of a small pond. The disturbances in
the picture had, of course, been ripples in the water.
Eventually, the entire house emerged as the camera continued
to widen its view. It was much larger and more beautiful
than the tiny reflection on the pond had suggested.
the scene ended, I could see the entire area: house,
trees, grounds, pond. The house had become the major
feature in the picture while the pond, although still
visible, was a very minor detail. If I looked carefully,
I could still distinguish on its surface the faint reflection
of two small windows. What had once seemed to be the
center of interest was now insignificant in the context
of a much greater reality.
just the same way, our religions are tiny and insubstantial
reflections of God's truth.
Posted Feb. 1, 2004
John W. Sloat 2004