Please indulge my ponderings today. I was recently reading a novel where the author* was describing the dream-state of the main character. As part of his musings, the phrase “a world of similitudes” was used.
I had to stop reading for a minute; think about that phrase; and ask the question, “Is this what we are all experiencing today? A world of similitudes?”
To understand, let’s first define a similitude. Webster’s Dictionary is helpful here with various shades of meaning. 1a – counterpart, double. 1b – a visible likeness: image. 2 – an imaginative comparison: simile. 3a – correspondence in kind or quality. 3b – a point of comparison.
Are we experiencing a sort of mirror image of what life was like, is like, or should be like? “An imaginative comparison?”
There but Not There
After these months of sheltering in place, not traveling, and not gathering in-person with others on a regular basis, it can create a numbness of being here, but really not–at the same time. I’ve joked with others on the phone that I can struggle to remember what day of the week it is.
I stand before the medicine cabinet each morning with a prescription bottle in hand. “Take one every M-W-F” are the instructions. “But what day is it?” Is today Thursday or Friday?
So many time-stamps of life are missing.
Wrestling with the Dawn
And yet, “Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” True words are found in the first sentence. An admonition in the second because we can forget so easily.
As writers called to grapple with the messages impressed upon us and to craft them with excellence, we feel the weight of responsibility.
I call that “wrestling with the dawn.” Each morning we must wrestle with another assault on our liberty, another assault on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, another assault on our safety, another assault on our health, another assault on our financial security. Makes one want to crawl back under the comforter and close the curtains.
But we cannot. We should not. We will not.
Instead, we rise up and shake off the morose shadows of the night. We face the day armed with the weapons of light with which we have been gifted. Our words.
“You are the light of the world…. Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14, 16).
That World of Similitudes
Yes, we do live in a world of similitudes. We are “in the world but not of it.” So why am I surprised when the enemy places a weight of heaviness on my shoulders, nay, on my soul? It should be expected. We carry the light of the gospel with us, for we are united with Christ and the Holy Spirit dwells in us. The world would rather walk in darkness than admit it is not the architect of its fate.
Let us ne’er forget. When the darkness descends, it is only a precursor of the dawn.
“The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
[John 3:19; John 1:5; Eph. 5:8; Is. 9:2; Rom. 13:22; Is. 58:8; 1 Pet. 2:9; 2 Cor. 4:6]
*Dune by Frank Herbert (Chilton Book Company, 1965), page 376.