The Window to Your Soul
Lady Bird Johnson is quoted as having said: “Art is the window to man’s soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within.” Obviously, she said that long before postmodernism. Still, the quote gets me thinking about souls and windows and the ability or inability to see clearly through to one’s soul.
Let’s imagine our bodies as windows to our souls. What type of glass is your window made of? There are many types of glass - all having various thicknesses and strengths. Some are insulated and contain two or three pieces of glass. Tempered glass is much stronger and safer than others when shattered. Laminated glass is coated to reflect the sunlight (perhaps with a mirrored coating). Float glass is thin, flat, very smooth and consistent, and annealed glass is a little stronger than float glass but will break into large sharp pieces if shattered. There’s also wire glass which is safer if exposed to high heat.
Besides all the various types of glass, you might decide to choose a pattern or texture for your soul’s glass window. On a typical window, this feature might be added for privacy or style. On our souls’ windows, accessories might be included as a camouflage. Who can blame someone for piling on the embellishments? After all, it’s not easy to walk through this world with a thin, clear, easily shattered window for a protective shell! The trimmings are free, right? Not really — everything has its price. In this case, the price could be quite high — isolation, weak relationships (with others and with God), lack of self-knowledge, etc. The beauty that lies within each and every one of us cannot be truly appreciated and shared if it is hidden beneath a thick, insulated, tinted, mirrored, textured, or even just a plain old dirty window.
Perhaps it’s time to replace our window, or maybe we just need to clean it up a bit. If you have an old window around your house somewhere, or if you see one along the side of the road in your travels — pull it out and set it inside in a place where you’ll see it daily. Get yourself a pack of washable markers, and write or draw on your window everything that is creating a barrier to your soul. You might write or draw things such as: guilt, shame, loneliness (oh wait, that’s just me!!!), anger, fatigue, doubt, gossip, fear, idolatry, relationship issues, selfishness, greed, etc. I’m sure we can all come up with a list that will more than fill our windows. Make it a fun project — colorful and fancy — perhaps similar to the way we all work so hard at creating that reality in our daily lives.
Then each day (or week or month) try to erase something from the window. Just try to eliminate or resolve one thing that is keeping you from the clarity that you could have and that you deserve. Of course, there will be days when you will have to add back in something that you previously erased, or there will be new things that have to be added in place of old ones that have been cleaned — it’s okay. Keep at it — don’t give up! Enjoy the process, and don’t forget to marvel at the glimmers of sunshine that are sure to make their way through the glass no matter how messy it may get.
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