14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“Eternal life” is not life sometime later. It is a different quality of life now. It is life lived with an openness to the vertical depth dimension that transcends the merely horizontal plane of time and circumstance.

If I am going to open to the vertical, I am going to need to believe in some power, some force of life that transcends the narrow one-dimensional existence of the horizontal in which I so often choose to be confined. I am going to need to look beyond that usual familiar life which I navigate using my physical senses and in which I invest so much of my energy.

The vertical is the realm of faith. It is the Life dimension to which the Hebrew people opened in the wilderness. When they were bitten by a poisonous serpent; instead of giving up in despair, they looked up at “the serpent upon a pole” that Moses had fashioned from bronze. Seeing the serpent they were healed. (Numbers 21:9)

When I look upon “the Son of Man… lifted up”, I see that the vertical dimension of the spiritual realm is at work in life. I gaze upon those most profound values of love and light that Jesus embodied and I am made more whole. I become that which I behold.


What do I gaze upon? How is my life shaped by where I am looking?

Moses and the Bronze Serpent All Saints, Margaret St. London 1889