Glass in this case means mirror, or looking glass. I don’t remember my father ever speaking about a mirror, he always said looking glass. There was glass in the Apostle Paul’s day, but it was coloured, not transparent, and probably not smooth enough to make a mirror. The mirrors used in his day were made of polished metal.
“For now we see through a glass darkly.” These words from 1 Corinthians 13:12 bring to my mind a picture of myself going down the road of life completely unable to see what is ahead of me. For a windshield I have a big rear view mirror. I can see where I’ve been, I can see what’s happening beside me, but I can’t see ahead.
The older I get, the more I realize that this is exactly how life is. Even when I look back the picture is dark, confused, obscure. Things happened that I didn’t expect, and still don’t fully understand, because I couldn’t see the obstacles and opportunities that lay before me. Sometimes I have caught a glimpse of something that looked like an opportunity, steered for it and found that it brought trouble and grief. Other times the road became rough and it seemed there was a formidable obstacle in my path, yet there was an unexpected blessing on the other side.
If anything is clear to me now, it’s that I need a guide, someone who sees everything that lies ahead and can show me the way to go to reach my goal. That would be Jesus, who said “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me.”