Jesus taught in parables that put new spiritual concepts into physical terms that are easier for us to understand. Basically he was using analogies to introduce people to new ideas. I sometimes find that I can understand spiritual truths better if I can equate them with actual things or processes from the world we live in. Here is one such example.
In movies and television shows there are often scenes that take place in a police interrogation room. I have no idea if actual police stations rooms as depicted in these scenes, but they make for good dramatic cinema. These rooms typically have a large mirror on one wall. This is a one-way mirror (sometimes referred to as a two-way mirror) that looks just like a regular mirror to the person inside the room. But to those on the other side of the same mirror, outside of the room, the mirror looks just like a window that they can see through in order to view the person inside the room.
Since not everyone knows how these one-way mirrors work, let me take a moment to explain. This type of mirror doesn’t have a silver coating on the back side of it as do regular mirrors. It only works correctly when it is bright inside the interrogation room and it is dark in the room behind the mirror. If the light is turned on in this room behind the mirror, the person inside the interrogation room can see them, although rather dimly, but can still see his own reflection as well. If the light is on in the room behind the mirror AND the light is turned off inside the interrogation room, the person inside the interrogation room can’t see himself at all but can clearly see the person on the other side of the mirror. Now for the analogy.
As Christians, we live in a small interrogation room; a box, if you will. God resides outside of this box, on the other side of the mirror. We are so focused on ourselves and our lives that we cause our light to shine very brightly. Meanwhile, on the other side of the mirror, God watches and waits patiently. Since He is not so blatantly intrusive as to blind you constantly with His very bright light, He simply sits back dimly and quietly, waiting for you to notice that He is there and seek Him out. For many, they never even know He is there. For Christians, they may know and acknowledge that He is there but never really see Him. For some, life becomes so painful and dark that there light is almost extinguished and out of sheer desperation they cry out to HIm. At that moment He brightens and they can see Him and the hope that he offers. Unfortunately when God brings them out of the darkness, and things in their lives are better, they become self-involved once more and they find the only image remaining in the glass is that of themselves.
If you are a Christian and you have a desire to get closer to the God that saved you, you must turn your light down and look intently, out of your little box, and watch God as His presence begins to grow brighter and brighter. This is the intimacy that God has desired from us since the beginning. The dimmer we become and the brighter He becomes, the more details we can see of His character. We get to know Him in a way that would have not been possible any other way. Consider dimming your light occasionally and staring intently into the one-way mirror and seeing God in ways that you never knew existed!