I can’t help it. I played contemporary hits on the radio for at least 25 years, so when a word, issue, topic, or image comes to mind, so does a song. And the image and song today suggest clarity.

The image is a reflection in a window in Berlin. With all there was to see in that fascinating city, this window happened to catch my eye as we walked. The curved glass, the objects inside the window and the reflections on the outsidDSC01126.JPGe — I took a chance, aimed, and focused and got it. (You understand the risk? Taking a picture through someone’s window? Yikes!)

Doesn’t the result look like a painting? I love this image. It was my PC’s “wallpaper” for a long time. Here are layers of color, hints of shapes, reflections of buildings, but none of it particularly in focus, except the frame. The subject is distorted by the shape of the window glass. Yet, even without clarity, isn’t there beauty to appreciate? Aren’t there several stories we could tell? We don’t always need things to be mirror-sharp, do we?

We live much of our lives without clarity. We are left wondering. We encounter mystery. We wrestle with choices. We make leaps of faith. Clarity is preferred most of the time, I guess. But we must learn to live without it, too. We can cope with ambiguity, live with the opaque now and then.

What was Jesus doing in the wilderness for forty days? Seeking clarity? Or, learning to embrace the mystery?

Oh, and the song I mentioned earlier? Maybe it’s already occurred to you. “I Can See Clearly Now.” That Johnny Nash lyric (also recorded by Jimmy Cliff) says, “…the rain is gone.” The windows are clear, and I can focus now and see what there is to see. Yes, there is a time for clarity. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.” (NLT) Or face to face, as the traditional translations put it.

Life isn’t perfect (yet); but there is still beauty to behold, if we keep our eyes open and let it surprise us. Like that window along a Berlin street on what was a “bright, sun-shiny day.”

 

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