Transfigured: Beyond Flatland

February 24, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Jesus was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.” From the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke

Just this morning I was told about a fascinating novella written in 1884 titled Flatland. I found a brief description of the book…

Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland is the story of a two-dimensional universe as told by one of its inhabitants, A-Square, who is introduced to the mysteries of three-dimensional space…

As I pondered its thesis it quickly occurred to me that this book is indeed an allegory of life in America today. In many ways we live in a two-dimensional world of black/white and good/bad. Our choices are all too frequently binary when the truth is, there are almost infinitely more choices.

Beyond Binary

Therein is found hope. The Good News really is good. Especially today as many in our culture reject a binary Gospel of sin and evil in the eyes of a punitive God. Such thinking might have worked for the Puritans, but it is no longer appealing or logical in the minds of a so-called Enlightening Society.

The world of Jesus is a brilliantly colorful three-dimensional world of surprise and wonder and mystery… but mostly a world in which the reigning authority is Love.

And so, I began this post with the story of the Transfiguration—that moment when Jesus took on the form of majesty and awe. Now for those who struggle with miracles, I get it. The Transfiguration seems like an unrealistic fantasy. Again, I get it.

But… What If?

But… what if fantasy is more like hope and mystery? What if it is preposterously the place for which we all hunger? What if we long for truth in the unbelievable? Finally, what if we live in a two-dimensional world knowing that a third dimension lies in wait for us to catch up with it?

In our world today, certainty and provability represent the so-called enlightened. I struggle with that thought. For if the world is nothing more than what I can touch and understand then I am left alone with my own thoughts and ideals.

Hungry for the Otherworldly

Humans, for millennia, have demonstrated an unquenchable hunger for something more. We have always had “the gods” with otherworldly bodies. We are no different today.

Two thousand years ago Jesus was transfigured into the complete human, full of divinity and humanity. And today, that is our life as well. For every now and then we, too, get to be transfigured; we also get to witness the transfiguration of others residing on a world of black and white.

Another Dimension

Yes, there is another dimension, a 3-D dimensional world of wonder… the dimension of irrepressible love.

Just When You think You Understand

You Experience a Transformational Transfiguration

Photo courtesy of NikkiZalewski at istockphoto



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