Friday, August 6, 2010

The Invisible Kingdom: Life in layers

Something I really want to study right now is the theme of the invisible, already-not-yet Kingdom theme in the Bible--and with it what it really means to love the world in the right way and the wrong way. So if I actually stick with this, I'll be posting along that theme every now and then.
For a long time I've thought about it like two transparencies on an overhead projector with colored dots on them. (This is probably because the prof that got me excited about the already-not yet still uses overheads). You've got sheet with blue dots sitting on another sheet with blue dots, and it looks like all the dots live on the same sheet. But they don't. So in a similar way, you can't see who's in God's kingdom with your physical eyes.
Lately, though I've been thinking about the way you can look through a screened window two different ways--either you focus on the screen and the background becomes blurred, or you focus on the background and forget about the screen. Maybe like one of those magic eye posters. But imagine if there were a whole other visual world that were layered over the one we walk in every day. And you, by practicing how you focus your eyes, could choose to walk around in the other visual world. You kind of have to have a matrix-y, cinematic imagination, but I think it works.
So we walk by faith, not by sight, right? The unseen things are eternal, but the seen things are passing away. So it's like living life in this world and making an effort to focus on the layer that's eternal. It applies just as truly to every moment, every place you go, every person you meet, but it's just harder to see. But once your spiritual senses adjust to this new layer, with its perspective, values, warnings and delights, it becomes more and more natural to live consistently with it.
And one day, the layer that seems so present now, will just fade away. If we've already been living in the invisible one, it'll become our only reality. If we've never lived in it, we'll have lost everything we've ever known.
I dunno, what do you think?

Related verses, books and music: 2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7 | The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis | Civil Twilight, Letters from the Sky: "Even though you've left me here, I have nothing left to fear, these are only walls that hold me here..."

P.S. Did you see the shark? The pic isn't mine, it's from this site, just to cover my bases.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa:

    Thank you for exploring this concept even though you're not totally sure about it. I know how you feel. I wrote a blog post about this over on my site. The idea is still being fleshed out, but you can read it here:

    Just some thoughts along the same lines.