Living up to its name, The Magic House provided an enchanting moment for this ol’ Gramps the other day.
In the early-morning quiet, just before the rug-rat swarm descended, our little Jonah managed to steal some one-on-one time with his life-size reflection.
The video, as they say, is worth a thousand words:
It’s not the first time Jonah has provided a God-touched moment for me. He is in fact a veritable spigot of love and grace, just like my other grandchildren. But there was something especially engaging about this particular encounter: What, I wondered, did Jonah see in the mirror that intrigued him so?
Granted, I’ve now reached the age when my mirror image is more apt to repel – or at the very least, discourage – than to delight. And yet, I was touched to see my grandson’s attempt-to-touch. There was something elemental about his motion, this journey into self…and perhaps beyond.
That may well be the heart of the matter, I realized. Jonah is young enough to remember. He still sees the God-spark when he gazes in the mirror. He recognizes a divine light at his center, unimpeded by his shortcomings, his misgivings, his imperfections.
It’s a charming lesson to consider – particularly on this, the feast day of St. Bartholomew / Nathanael. Among the most obscure of Jesus’ 12 apostles, even so Nathanael is celebrated for a famously blessed episode of recognition:
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus … said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
You can almost imagine the sheepish grin that must’ve spread across Nathanael’s face in the moment. And it was followed quickly by an expression of amazement:
Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Under a fig tree…or at The Magic House: You just never know where the Lord is going to show up, offering an irresistible reminder of our connection to the Divine. But the reflection is real.
Amazingly, so is the invitation Jesus extends – to ever enter more deeply into the Mystery:
Jesus … said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.