Ken Gire, one of my favorite authors, in his book Windows of the Soul, writes of the windows that give us a glimpse into things that lie beyond the surface. In his unique, lyrical voice, Ken writes . . .
“We have all had moments when we’ve experienced something . . . we can’t quite explain, yet can’t explain away. Moments when God has touched our lives like a soft hand of morning sun reaching through our bedroom window, brushing over our eyes and waking us to something eternal.
At some of these windows, what we see offers simple a moment of insight, making us slower to judge and quicker to show understanding. At a few of them, though, what we see offers a word spoken to the very depths of who we are. It may be a word to rouse us from sleep and ready us for our life’s journey . . . It may be a word telling us who we are and why we are here and what is required of us at this particular juncture of our journey.
Or, in a startling, sun-drenched moment of grace, it may be a word telling us something we have longed all of our lives to hear – a word from God – a word so precious it would be worth the most arduous of climbs to hear the least audible of its echoes.
Windows of the soul is where we hear those words.
And where the journey begins.”
In the book, he writes about many windows – windows of dreams and of depression, windows of writing and of wilderness, windows of movies and of memory.
Another window – one that was not mentioned in Ken Gire’s book – is the window of friendship.
The dynamics of friendship have altered somewhat with the rise of social networks. It is simple to add hundreds of people to your list of friends with nothing more than a simple click.
I don’t doubt that real friendships exist within these parameters, and commenting back and forth on random happenings is not necessarily a bad thing. But I would venture to say that they seldom offer a glimpse into the soul.
Those are the places we often keep partitioned off, closed to others. Why we do so is anyone’s guess.
We have fears of being misunderstood, fears of being laughed at, or of standing alone as the only one who thinks or feels a certain way.
We keep the curtains closed. And so often we dwell in darkness.
Accepting a shadowy, colorless existence as a life.
Certain moments, however, let sunlight stream into the windows of the soul that we so seldom allow others to see.
I recently read a book about sight to one of my kids. It started that our eyes and brain capture over 60 images per second in the light. When it’s dark, they only capture about ten images per second.
I think the same could be said for the questions that lurk around in the darkness of the soul. We only grasp shadowy images – outlines, really.
And so many questions remain.
But when we let go of our fears and open our hearts to the illuminating love of a friend, the gloom dissipates.
Suddenly the focus is clear, as details fill out the sketchy outlines.
Images start to make sense with all the brilliance of a new morning.
The curtains draw back to let the sunshine in.
The wonder that never ceases to amaze me is the gift of true friendship – a window to our own soul, and a bridge to another’s.