Sunday, October 16, 2011


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

anastasia thoroughly enjoys looking at herself in this little mirror (or, to be honest, in any mirror, window, or other reflective surface she can find). i knew i wanted to take a picture of her admiring herself in the mirror, capturing both her sweet little pig nose and the patchy soft hair on the back of her head all at once. i knew the picture i wanted to take. this is the picture i took--which i love, and which is not exactly the picture i wanted to take. thankfully, anastasia spends quite a bit of time looking in this mirror, as it took me two sessions and over two dozen pictures to capture this moment. the moment which wasn't exactly the moment i was going for, but is just right anyhow.

and that is, in fact, the point. seeing through a glass darkly. not quite accurately. we can't quite know what we're looking for in that dark glass, can we? but it's in there. and i am certain we're supposed to look. now i know in part and not fully, as i will know and be known. but i do know in part, and that's important. i'm not sure what babies are doing when they're spending all that time admiring themselves (and, let's be honest, slobbering all over themselves, which is part of the picture i meant to capture but didn't quite). but i know there's something in there they want to understand, and they are persistent in trying to understand it. it will likely still be a few months before anastasia recognizes herself in that reflection, although she does already seem to look back and forth at the reflection when i'm holding her, looking at me and then looking back at the reflection of me. even though she doesn't understand what's in there--in fact, probably because she doesn't--she keeps looking and looking. and she delights in the learning and looking and figuring out.

we can learn a lot from a baby examining that other baby in the dark glass. just because we won't know and be known for a long time, just because we are trapped with the dark glass through which to look, it doesn't mean we don't keep looking. we keep seeking and trying to understand. and we delight in the process, even though we know it'll be long before it's complete. and when we're frustrated by the process--which babies often are--we don't cease wondering and we don't decide we're done looking. we can rest in the promise that--just like anastasia will one day (too) soon discover that she's admiring herself in there--we will one day know and be known fully, with no glass in the way at all.

but in the meantime, i'm determined to rejoice in and persist in examining the (skewed, unclear) reflection.

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