Less dust, more Glory

I reflected, (much to everyone’s amusement) last week on dust. I don’t want to repeat that experience, but I do want to go back to the beginning of the journey that I related and do it all again.  Perhaps we missed something at the first attempt.  It is transfiguration Sunday today as we look (forward) to Lent.  We too need to glimpse a little of the Glory along with the disciples.  They knew not what they saw, and poor old Mark writing down their experiences does a poor job of advertising God’s washing powder, – more powerful than Daz Automatic, brighter than white washing.  I want to stay on the theme of adverts though for just a minute as one in particular may help to illustrate that train journey in a different, perhaps less critical way than last week.  You may remember the TA adverts.  Soldiers going about their business, a cartoon bubble appears above their head and describes their day job.  Teacher.  Lawyer.  Bin-man.  Stood side by side in those uniforms, who would guess there was another side to their lives.  The advert is twinned with another.  Almost the opposite.  It shows a teacher, a lawyer, a bin-man.  This time the captions read:  Gunner, Mechanic, Tank Commander.  Who would know without knowing each of these people that there was another side, something hidden if you like.  The only way of finding out is through conversation.  So what of my journey?  What was behind the veil as it were of those travelling with me?  Sad to say I didn’t make conversation with all of them to find out, but were there glimpses of the glory? What I mean by that is, is it possible to glimpse what God is doing in the lives of others.  Glimpse something of another life, something which connects back to our own.  These little glimpses are actually everywhere and yet we seldom notice them.  Seeing instead what is on the outside and not looking deeper.  We must learn to look in the right way, to pay attention to what is actually there rather than what our mind tells us we are really seeing.  It is partly about seeing the best in people and partly about not letting our own prejudices run away with our imaginations.  I have to admit it was only by the time I had reached cardiff that I had begun to look in such a way.  Perhaps because I’m not a city dweller, or just to prejudiced against those in suits with briefcases, though not all were by any means!  Though the unwritten rule of the Tube train is:  Don’t stand out from the crowd and certainly don’t make eye contact, I wonder if there were those for whom a little human contact would have gone a long way?  In a familiar city it was easier to walk a little lighter, not ‘greener’ but perhaps slower, and with more time to take things in.  Rather than a crowd of people rushing somewhere, each seemed to be more of an individual with their own cares and worries.  Each person was uniquely made and doing what was important for them at that moment.  If you looked hard enough the anxious look or happiness or contentment was possible to spot and with a word or two of greeting in passing the response gave away more of the ‘hidden life’  So it is with the Glory of God.  Engagement is very important for without it the glory which is there, fails to catch our attention and no matter how white the washing, it will appear as another white sheet rather than something altogether different and magnificent.