Hazy. “Is it even worth going up to watch the fireworks?” my neighbor asked. “Will they even set them off? It’s so foggy.”
It’s worth a try, we decided. So shortly before midnight, four of us traipsed up to the roof to look over the strange haze that illuminated the city. Why does it feel brighter on foggy nights, like someone turned on a yellow lamp in the next room?
Midnight came. 2022. We didn’t cheer, just stood expectantly. The fireworks popped, a couple here and then there, muted by the fog.
Last year had been wild–fireworks blasting everywhere as people waved goodbye to 2020. Had 2021 disappointed? With this new wave of restrictions, had people lost hope?
“Maybe everyone is tired this year, tired of being in crisis,” suggested my neighbor.
In his daddy’s arms, their little boy cried, “Tah! Tah! Tah!” after each burst, delighted. He didn’t seem to notice the lack of enthusiasm for the new year. He would be enthusiastic if no one else would.
We peered over the edge of the apartment building. The haze seemed to represent more than I wanted to process at midnight. 1 Corinthians 13:12 floated into my mind and stuck: “For now we see in a mirror dimly.” I didn’t even try to remember the rest of the verse, it felt appropriate stolen from its context and tacked onto this eery new year.
But after a good night of sleep tucked in my bed (with visions of sugar-plums dancing in my head, of course), I remembered that the verse is a comparison and the emphasis isn’t on the hazy mirror, but rather on that moment when we see “face to face” and “know fully, even as [we] have been fully known.”
Once again, I had been distracted by the haze of the present.
My prayer for this year is not we become “so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good,” but that we live fully in today’s haze because we remember to reach out in hope.
This haze is not all there is.