Monday, July 24, 2006

The Dirt on the Mirror

Telescopes are amazing things. They help us to see that which is unclear with new clarity. The best telescope in the world is SALT, and is to be found at Sutherland, South Africa.

SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) uses mirrors to reflect light from space into a computer. These polymer mirrors are treated to a Kodak polish, and layered with aluminium...all at a cost of R300 000 per mirror. There are 91 of them. And they gradually gather a layer of dust. This is not solved by whipping out a Kleenex, because this would damage the aluminium surface. So every two years they are taken out and the aluminium is replaced. And clarity is restored.

And I thought of St. Paul's idea (2 Cor 3:18) that God's beauty is reflected into our lives. But I know that God's reflection in my life becomes obscured by my self-interest and my fears. I also know that I become used to this dirt. It becomes part of the way I see life, and the way others see me. And then people no longer see God in me, and I lose sight of God.

I am indebted to faithful friends who act as my spiritual maintenance crew: Jenny, Peter, and Kevin are amongst those who confront this dirty mirror with cleansing honesty. And I am grateful.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the rhema word I received from just one small sentence of this whole insert.......

Rock in the Grass said...

I dont have a clue what a rhema word looks like!

dinsy said...

God's reflection in our lives being obscured by the dirt of our selfishness - thanks Rock, this is a very helpful image to explain a process that I am aware of going on in me, but didn't really understand. The complete renewal, rather than a surface wiping away, we need it so much.