Many will have heard of, and quite possibly read, some of the work of British author Lewis Carroll (1832 – 1898).
His work “Alice in Wonderland” is on many schools’ library shelves.
Carroll also wrote a sequel to this book with the title “Through The Looking Glass”, in which Alice walks through a mirror (looking glass), and to her surprise, everything is back to front.
“I find this most confusing”, Alice keeps saying.
In the ‘through the looking glass’ world,
- running keeps you stationary,
- walking to where you want to go means you walk backwards and
- chess pieces are alive, as a fairy tales.
I find this most confusing.
Today’s Gospel from St Luke (Lk. 18: 1 – 8) is the story of the persistent widow and the recalcitrant judge.
For most of my life I assumed the judge represents God, and the persistent widow represents me, and throughout the country, I can well imagine that preachers will be urging people to be faithful, persistent, and perhaps even aggravating in their prayer!
This Sunday, I invite you, like Alice, to step through the “Looking Glass” and take a journey where everything is back to front!
Stepping through the ‘looking glass’ we find everything ‘back to front’; the persistent widow represents God, and the recalcitrant judge ourselves!
Once reversed, the characters take on a whole new perspective.
The widow is seen as a God-like figure, and then the message of the parable becomes very much clearer.
Go on, have a go, reread the parable from ‘behind the looking glass,’ remembering, “to walk to where you wish to go, you have to walk backwards!”
Humour aside: our English translation has the judge say to himself, “because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.”
The original Greek reads, “lest she give me a black eye by continually coming,” literally meaning to strike the face below the eye.
It comes to mean “brow beat,” but it also carries the connotation of shame, just as our expression does.
The judge will grant her justice lest he be shamed in the community.