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Life In the Abstract

Abstraction, much like poetry, does not demand a clean window through which to see. There is always a questionable narrative quietly offering up a motley assortment of things, fragments, pieces of a mysteriously yet intimate plot – or conspiracy.

Life in the world is like that! We see yet we don’t see. We will foolishly venture away, without guidance or light to illuminate our path. Without an understanding of the Sacred Author’s mind, we can only speculate as to reality, and there are many unlit and treacherous pathways we might hazard a walk. The worldly mind only imagines knowing the way, and like Pontius Pilate, demands, “What is truth?” while the Truth stands silent, unhidden.

Consider these “abstract nouns” which denotes nothing and everything: Love, compassion, justice, beauty, wisdom, faith, or peace. Life in the world is a continuous and monotonous journey of ascribing our own meaning, trying to define or summarize an abstract world. Even Christians wrestle trying to achieve meaning from abstract ideas while the Answer – unintrusively – waits. Finding “truth” is always a surprise to the searcher of truth; because it was never really hidden at all. That reminds me of a story. “There was a man who met a homeless person along his walk one day. The homeless man never asked for money or shelter, but only for water to aid him along his way. He bought him a meal and filled his cup. Before leaving, the homeless man gave all the meat to his canine companion. ‘The best part is for my best friend!’, was all he said.” This story reveals the truth which God allows to penetrate the fog of life, if we are perceptive.

The Book where the words: love, compassion, justice, beauty, wisdom, faith, and peace are written are defined there with concrete terms, by the life of Jesus, who could see through the haze and fog of a debauched world. Jesus cleans the window and shines a light revealing the conspiratorial plot to keep mankind blind and ignorant. Men speak of a “moral compass” because they sense that they are separated from what is real and desperately search for any semblance or fragment of truth in a shadow world with a broken compass.

Mankind has a choice to either live in the abstract, where the prince of this world reigns by subterfuge and blindness, deception and abstraction, or to venture onto the path of truth.  The light of Jesus gives definition to our existence and clears away the fog. The abstract can be mesmerizing and hypnotic but will lead you into darkness and confusion. What you crave are Truth and Light!

“For NOW we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: NOW I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

To see “through a glass” — a mirror — “darkly” is to have an obscured and imperfect vision of reality. The expression comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul; he explains that we cannot now see clearly with fleshly eyes and mind, but at the end of time, we will do so. Christ came to heal our blindness by revealing the truth. That truth is “light” and that light shines on a very narrow pathway that we must walk if our hope is to be realized. Jesus declares of Himself, “I am the Light of the world” follow Me.

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