Reflections

It’s always a show on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas–you never know what you’re going to see. You’ll often see a bride and groom taking pictures, Spiderman heading to work, even trucks driving around with blinding billboards on them, advertising the hottest spot for the night.

A friend and I were sitting in The Market on Fremont last week, speaking of life, family, faith–a myriad of things.

As I was glancing out the window that evening, something caught my eye past the palm trees and the ruby slipper. The El Cortez is directly across Fremont, and their parking garage is right next to the casino. Connecting the casino and the garage is what looks like a stairwell, with mirrored windows on it. Perhaps it’s simply that it’s getting lighter later, so the sun hit it differently, but those windows drew my attention.

Reflected in the windows, I saw the dusty blue evening sky, mottled with fast moving clouds. It also reflected the edge of the parking garage. The windows were warped a bit, or perhaps the wind was altering the pressure against them, or maybe they were simply designed incorrectly, but the reflection of the corner of the El Cortez seemed to bulge and dip in an architect’s nightmare. It was obvious that the object being reflected was built strong and straight, but the reflection showed inaccurate curves in the side of the building.

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“I see enough to know the truth, that the building is straight,” I thought, “But this reflection is imperfect. Something is missing.”

In 1 Corinthians 13, we read of love and life lived right now, and love and life that is to come. The author, a man named Paul, writes:

Love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (8b-12)

Partial and incomplete. Like a building reflecting in a warped window.

So often we are faced with situations and circumstances that leave us scratching our heads, wondering what purpose they serve, or why certain things are allowed. It’s in these times that we can realize that what we see is imperfect. We’re jaded by our mistakes, our prejudices, our experiences, and we don’t yet see everything perfectly. We’re looking for a parking garage in a fun house mirror.

That is not forever, however! When the “time of perfection” comes–when we see Jesus face to face–that reflection will disappear and in its place we will see the truth of the steadfastness and consistency of God in our lives. We will no longer be looking in a warped window – we will see the perfection of God and His purposes!

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