Faith is like a window. We can think of a window in many ways. We could concentrate on the construction, the design, the curtains, the glass but fail to realise that the purpose of a window is to actually look out and enjoy the view. A window brings the outside in and exposes the inside to the outside.
Faith is a window which enables us to see God clearly and enables us to have a direct relationship with him. God can also see us clearly and yet because of his great love for us does not look upon our imperfections.
Religion, on the other hand, can prevent us from really seeing God. We argue about the window style, and say that unless our window conforms in construction or rituals it is inferior or even not a window at all. Religion puts obstacles in the way of seeing God. It makes rules and regulations and says that unless we conform we cannot know God.
A window enables views both ways. We may be afraid that people will look in and see the way we live our lives. So we put up curtains which can be drawn to stop people looking in. It is less fashionable now, but in the past people put up net curtains so that people could not look in and see us clearly. But obstructing the view inwards also prevents us from having the ability to look out. We can so decorate our faith in God that we no longer are able to see God clearly, or to let him see into our lives.
The Christian religion is made up of multiple denominations. Conforming to a denomination is like concentrating on the structure of the window frame. We may say:
“Look how square the corners are – we must live upright lives to please God”.
The window frame could be made of wood, aluminium or PVC. Someone may say:
“I have a PVC faith, it is simple , it does not need painting and does not rot. I despise the wood windows, they can rot and they need replacement”.
Or we may have faith like a stained glass window. They are ornate and beautiful. They let some light in without distracting us with the outside world. Religion can rob us of the prospect of personally knowing God. We can be so caught up in beautiful rituals and traditions that we fail to see God. Stained glass windows can have pictures which portray someone else’s view of God. We need clear glass to have our own relationship with God.
A window needs glass. It may be tinted, frosted or clear. It may be double glazed or even triple glazed. It may be thin or child-friendly, safety glass. Defining the technicalities of the glass is like studying theology. Theology is great but we can so easily be caught up with the technicalities of belief and religion that we forget to actually look through the glass.
I might walk past a widow and get a fleeting glimpse of myself. I can treat a window like a mirror and worry about how I look, and how God sees me. But God has given me this window of faith because he has forgiven me, loves me unconditionally and accepts me just as I am.
The window of faith
Faith is like a window. It enables us to see outside of ourselves and see God. We can see God because we see Jesus who said:
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8 NIV)
Faith enables us to look outside of ourselves and see God. A window works both ways: God can see us but yet wholly accepts us. God wants to have a relationship with us and adopt us into his family. This is possible when we can gaze on his glory and he can look at us, imperfections and all.
This window of faith is a free gift from God. All we have to do is to look through that window and let God change our lives. If your upbringing, culture or religion gets in the way, abandon those things and just gaze through the window at Jesus and a God who truly loves you and wants to adopt you as a son (or daughter). Don’t let religion obstruct your view of God, try to enslave you and rob you of the riches which are yours as an adoptee of God, your Creator, your Saviour, your Father and Friend.