Shortly after Megh and I got married we moved into an apartment located on the third floor of an old Episcopal church. It was originally used to house the organist and had been vacant for some years. So we went in, did some painting and updating and made into a nice home for us.
I loved living there. Mainly because it was pretty quiet, except for when the organist would come into practice mid-week. But that was a welcomed sound in our house. He was really, really talented and the music was played beautifully.
Often I would walk down stairs and go into the massive sanctuary and pray, or play the nice grand piano. I wrote a lot of songs in that space. But what I liked the most about the sanctuary were the stained glass windows surrounding the entire outside walls of the church. Stunning colors of light would come shining through on those sunny days and the pictures depicted in the glass would come to life.
Stained glass is really only beautiful when light illuminates it. The beauty of the glass can come into full focus when light makes its presence through it. So I was often reminded in that sanctuary of how God’s light or presence works in my life.
I spend a lot of time working on my image before others. You know, they call it “keeping face”. I really don’t like to show the broken parts of my life. The cracks in me I would rather just try to keep to myself. But the reality is, the God that created my life calls it beautiful. God doesn’t look at my outward appearance but looks at the heart.
But just like stained glass, you really can’t see the beauty of it until light shines through it. So it is with my life. My life isn’t really that beautiful without God’s light progressing through it.
Robert Wicks says talks about out stained glass lives this way…
“We are like a stained glass window that is open to being a way for others to experience God through us rather than being so involved in what image we feel we have to project.”
The interesting thing about the stained glass in that Episcopal church was that it was old. And with every passing year it would produce more imperfection. And so if you were to go in there at night you wouldn’t really see any of the imperfections beginning to develop. But around three o’clock in the afternoon on a sunny day you could see every crack and blemish very clearly being projected by the light coming through.
I have a lot of cracks in me. And to be honest I’m always a little nervous to allow the light of God to shine through me, because it means that God and people are going to see all my imperfections. And that feels a little or I should say a lot uncomfortable. But that’s what God wants from all of us. He calls us to let his light shine in and through us. And yeah it’s going to expose some ugly stuff at times, but the beauty of yours and my life has a chance to project the colors of God’s love and presence to this world. And that’s the goal right? I mean if I am a follower of Jesus, than that’s what I want people to see. I want them to see that even through a broken down, cracked, dirty life the light of God can still illuminate beautiful colors.
So today may I encourage you to allow the light of God to shine through you. Even if that light exposes all the dust and cracks you may have. Only God can bring out the colors that you have. And may your colors contribute to a world around you that desperately needs to see the beauty of God.