Pull Up The Blinds

Albert Bogle September 12, 2016 0 0
Pull Up The Blinds

It’s Monday the 12th September the day after 9/11. My attention was drawn to the title of Rory MacLeod’s prayer published today on Sanctuary First, entitled, ’Vanity Blinds’.  I thought,  how does this connect with the horror of terrorism? 


Vanity Blinds

What a privilege to know my true family likeness:
at one with my heavenly Father and earthly sister!
Lord, would you comfort all who struggle with identity issues?
Raise those trapped in the pit of self-loathing. 
Confront those whose vanity blinds them from respecting others
and discerning the ugliness of their beauty.
Help me to see sisters and brothers in the crowd around me
and to recognise the look we share.


On closer scrutiny it is a prayer that invites us to go deeper. It’s an interesting prayer in the light of 9/11. If I know my family likeness why would I kill my brother or sister. Yet, this is the story of humanity. Cain slays Abel. It’s a story of identity and acceptance. A story of identity and acceptance that requires to be resolved in each individual human heart. When it is resolved we can call God our Father.

At first glance the title, ‘Vanity Blinds’ seemed to connect me with images of the rich and powerful. I thought to myself, yes they need to pull up their blinds. In my mind’s eye, I could see a limousine with tinted glass hiding faces of lonely people trapped behind painted smiles. Within a few seconds I realised my own vanity was blinding me from seeing what has to be changed in my own life in my own world.  They were in fact  another class of victim known as celebrity, looking out on a broken war torn world, distracted and seduced by vanity hiding from an ugly world.  

I started thinking there is a vulnerability, a fear of ugliness and pain that tempts us all to hide away and pull down the vanity blinds. There is also a kind of vanity, a form of voyeurism in us all that draw us to the broken and the bleeding. It may even draw us to view the broken and bleeding body of Jesus Christ on the cross, but if we remain detached bystanders looking on, all of this is a kind of vanity, a spiritual voyeurism.  

Rory’s prayer invites us to go beyond the voyeurism - to become actively involved in the loathing and ugliness of life and to see it transformed into something that has been redeemed. This is what the Incarnation is all about. God took into himself our vanity the ugliness of our beauty, and by the power of his Spirit at work in us has restored the true family likeness. He has made us all beautiful.

We may not always see the likeness but we can grow into the likeness.  I’m told by those who know that as I get older I’m looking more like my father. Paul tells us not to lose heart when we don’t live up to the family likeness. We will fail, we will not always understand, we will question.  Never the less he writes in 1 Corinthians 13 that the mirror we look into is blemished, because we as humans can’t comprehend all that God is doing in our lives. and the lives of others. We can’t always see the full family likeness but one day we will. I guess we are being called to become rescue workers, no longer bystanders looking in on the world through windows with blinds.