Scrims and Seemings

When I was in high school I had no urge to be on the stage. I wanted to be behind the scenes, making the invisible workings work, creating illusions, and making fake seem real. I loved stage crew and especially adored painting scenery. The curtains and lighting were completely beyond me but there was one aspect of both that I adored. Occasionally a musical we were working on required a scrim. For those who don’t know, a scrim is a thin mesh material that hangs the full length of the stage, with a scene painted on it. When the light shines in front of it you can’t see what is behind, but if a light shines behind you can see that beyond the scrim. In fact you can shine lights on individual aspects of the scenery or props behind the scrim and just show those. (If you are having a hard time imagining what I mean this site has a cool image that demonstrates it.)

I loved all the effects that you could get with a scrim– where with a bit of scenery and some props you could have a few scenes with a scrim you could layer them and create dimension. You could add light to just one part, rearrange everything behind while the light was shining without anyone even realizing you were on stage. You could create many different scenes with a few drop down scenes, some scenery blocks on wheels and one scrim. It was amazing and exciting to see all changes in view and perception that that one illusion could produce.

The thing about scrims is they are really just a seeming. They seem to be there, they seem to show a scene but when you get close to it you can see that it is really nothing more than a bit of mesh. The illusion seems totally real until the light shines just so from behind and your eyes are opened.

Last night I remembered the scrim and realized how much of our religiosity is just seemings. It is only when God’s light shines on it that we see it for the flimsy scrim that it is. This one thing seems so important, it seems like the right thing and then God adds His light and suddenly we see that there is something more true, more real behind it.

The thing is we are all at different places in the theater, seated in different seats so we are all only seeing a part of the stage and that through multiple scrims and seemings, sometimes with various props, scenes, and false fronts in the way. And then God shines His light and refocuses our perception so we see a little bit of His Truth. None of us can see the whole though for some there are less seemings between us and Him. We have to rely on Him to lift those veils, open our eyes, and He does it gradually, never all at once– I think if He did it would break us completely. So we watch and pray and ask and receive and another seeming is removed.

Someday we we will see the whole and it will be glorious.