Friday, May 13, 2011

With Unveiled Faces

 by Dina Sleiman

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~ II Cor. 3:18

I started to write this post yesterday and intended to call it “Through a Glass Darkly” or even “Dark Glass Ponderings.” You see, these words have been rolling through my head for over a month now. I’ve been ruminating on their definitions and their impact on my life. What does it mean to see through a glass darkly? To look into a dim glass and ponder? What do we detect? Over time do we begin to distinguish shadows and shapes? Do our eyes attune to something very real on the other side?

Perhaps this all started when I picked up a book called Mystically Wired by Ken Wilson. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all New Age on you. Simply substitute the word “spiritual” for “mystical” and relax. Wilson’s basic premise is this: we are all spiritually wired, but we are also spiritually challenged. Our minds have actually been created by God to fellowship with him and to discern the spiritual kingdom in and around us. Scientists have proven that prayer stimulates a unique area of the brain and that spiritual interest is at least in part based on genetics. As the Bible describes, we have spiritual senses, spiritual eyes and spiritual ears, perhaps even more. However, we are also mystically challenged, meaning we do not typically know how to use them.

Our normal five senses for detecting the physical world are so much stronger and clearer than our spiritual senses that we tend to dismiss them. I like to say that God is always speaking if only we’ll be quiet enough to listen. Our physical senses tend to crowd out our spiritual senses. They clamor for our attention. In order to regularly and efficiently commune with God, we must go to that still quiet place and learn to engage our spiritual senses. We must attune that inner ear and that inner eye. Take time to stare into that glass until the shapes and patterns become familiar enough that they begin to make sense. Until we trust ourselves to detect and understand them.

Wilson takes this analogy even farther by talking about something called “blindsight.” This occurs when a person’s eyes work, but the processing center for sight in the brain is somehow inhibited. Although individuals experiencing this condition cannot “see” in the traditional sense, they show a remarkable ability to dodge unfamiliar obstacles. While their brain is not giving them the visual messages in a logical manner, they are in fact able to see on some sort of intuitive level, and can even learn to better use and trust their “blindsight.”

Faith is like “blindsight.” Although we can’t quite grasp it with our minds, some part of us “knows,” and we must learn to trust in that knowledge and harness it to change our lives. Prayer can feel like “blindsight.” We can’t prove that God is speaking to us and giving us visions, and yet we “know” that he is, and that awareness of God will transform us into his image.

I had planned to leave the post there. Looking into darkness. Then this morning, I was having devotional time with my sons and came across II Corinthians 3:18. It seems that when we were dead to sin our spiritual eyes were completely veiled, but that as we are transformed into the image of Christ we begin to see his glory more and more clearly. Perhaps that glass begins to shine and glow as we stare into it and are changed by it. Perhaps our spiritual eyes can be unveiled as we are transformed into the image of Christ. Perhaps things don’t have to stay so dark on this side of eternity.

Something new for you and me to ruminate about over the next few months.

I encourage you to pray about this scripture and ask God to reveal a new depth of meaning to you. Which word stands out? What might God want to show you about this word? So many good ones to choose from “unveiled,” “contemplate,” “transformed,” “ever-increasing,” “image,” “glory” just to name a few. Consider journaling about one of these words. Trust your inner senses and allow God to speak to you. And if you don’t mind, share with us as well.


  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference today, but I'll try to stop back and check on the comments. I wanted to add something else I read yesterday from a book called "A Hundred Days in the Secret Place." It said that an even deeper form of prayer than thinking words at God is simply being still and beholding his face. Isn't that beautiful? And it goes so well with this post.

  2. Interesting thoughts Dina. I have to absorb and process this a bit. I do know I'm excited for the day when the veil of flesh is gone, and I can be with the Lord in spirit.

  3. Very powerful post Dina.
    The word that comes to mind is Transformed.
    I like the title and the way you linked the Dark Glass Pondering and the spiritual senses. Very true.

  4. Wow, Dina. This is awesome. I will be pondering and praying on this for quite some time. I love what you just added about being still and beholding his face. Love, love, love it. Thank you for giving me so much to think on. I'm praying your time away continues to be blessed.

  5. Just this morning as I was out walking, I looked up into the sky where the sun had broken through between the clouds and I thought, "Jesus, I can hardly even imagine what it will really be like to be in Your presence. I'm so down-here focused, so bound by hours and minutes, that my small, shallow mind can't fathom it." And I thought of a young friend and neighbor of mine who is up there even now, having fallen asleep and awakened in Heaven. She knows now what it's like to be with Jesus.

    Thought provoking post!


  6. Many of you will be aware that blogger messed with blog posts across the internet since Wednesday but it's working now.

    If you posted a comment on Dina's post on Thursday, we probably saw most of them before it disappeared!
    so annoying. Ugh!
    Here's another chance to read her post--
    thanks for your patience, readers!


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