This beautiful preRaphaelite window reminded me of something Jack Miles wrote about: the way we in which we look at stained glass. He was exploring the limitations of historical criticism in ancient texts, using a stained glass window as an analogy. By trying to look through the text we are invariably confronted with varying degrees of opaqueness just as we will always find some degree of colour in the glass. Sometimes we need to just appreciate the beauty of the window. The person who took the photo above also captured shadows of what I presume to be a protective grille on the other side of the window, but we can make out nothing else. If we were standing before the window, why would we want to peer through it?. This is not the purpose for which it was made. We can see the beauty before us, and sometimes, this is enough.

Three angels – stained glass by Morris & Company. Lyndhurst Church of St. Michael & All Angels in Hampshire, England. 

(picture courtesy of “Dogwalker”, Flikr)

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