When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. 1 Cor 13:11
On the YouVersion Bible on my iPad, I have all of 1 Corinthians 13 highlighted in various colors, with the exception of this one verse.
I enjoy playing games. Some of my favorites are the old games like Zork and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. One thing I learned while playing these that has proved true time and time again, even with modern games, is that the creator doesn’t add an item without a reason.
We are used to inconsequentials. If we’re taking a family photo in the front yard and only discover when we print the pictures that little Johnny left a wagon in the yard and it shows up in the picture, that’s an inconsequential. It doesn’t matter and has no real purpose.
Every day we filter out inconsequentials, more or less successfully, sometimes getting sidetracked by things we shouldn’t, sometimes ignoring or undervaluing things really deserve our attention.
But as I’ve been studying my Bible, I’ve discovered more and more that there are no inconsequentials in it. Perhaps there may be a problem with one translation or a typo or whatever, but there are no verses thrown in for filler, no chapters added to try to expand thee page count. Not even additional letters from the apostles included just for good measure.
Which is why, this morning, my eye lit on these unhighlighted words on a page full of color. On its surface, the words are easy to understand – the only confusion about them is why are they put where they do and what do they mean as a result of that?
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (1 Corinthians 13:8-12 MSG)
So, what do gurgling and cooing have to do with seeing completely? I wish I could say that I understand completely and explain it, but I don’t … yet.
Thoughts that come to mind:
When the boys were born, I loved to read to them. And, being me, of course I had to research the best books first. What I found was that infants can’t distinguish colors yet, their eyes aren’t fully developed when they’re first born, and so, black and white book will catch their attention more than the very colorful books that they’ll love later.
In addition, infant eyes can’t see at a distance. Instinctively, we raise them up to our level or lower ourselves to theirs, so that they can see us.
In the same way, we change our voice, so that it’s at a higher pitch and easier for little ears to hear. Watch anyone around a baby, the adult’s behavior changes without any conscious effort and whether or not they have children of their own.
I am reminded of a movie I watched ages ago (so long ago that I can’t remember the name of the movie). It was about a man who had been completely blind since he was a very young child, and now science had come up with a possible cure. It was a true story if I remember right, but what fascinated me, even back before I had children, was the steps that he went through and could actually describe, as he learned to see. First things were outlines – in other words, black and white and distant objects were blobs. Then the part that fascinated me even more, and I didn’t actually believe it until I had children of my own – after he could “see” and was learning to distinguish objects by sight (another thing I had never considered as a step towards seeing but which made perfect sense to me after I had children of my own), even after all this, he still had to learn to distinguish between 2D and 3D. To see a picture of an object and recognize that it was not the object itself but a flat image.
We see these same steps in babies, but because they don’t have the words to express what they’re going through, it doesn’t bring about the ah ha moments without something to explain what’s happening, at least most of the time.