As Beautiful as Splintered Glass

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This week at www.sarahmarkley.com, Sarah invited us to write a post about beauty and what it means to us. I have truly enjoyed following the guest posts and their take on beauty.  And, being guilty of blog stalking, I almost didn’t participate.

After all, I don’t think of beauty in a conventional way. That’s not to say I don’t do my share of obsessing over hair, makeup and clothing choices, but I truly believe that beauty is a shining light from, not even from within, but from above.  I have nothing beautiful within me without the reflection of my Lord.

I am a broken vessel. Not a little broken either, but shattered really.  Shattered into a million little pieces (mostly by my own doing), but gently…lovingly, put back together piece by piece by my most gracious Lord and Savior.

It’s hard for me to admit to anyone that I don’t hold it all together, that I am not in control, that I am not always, and have not always been a…ahem…good person. That I need God’s grace and forgiveness not daily, but every second of every day. I don’t like saying that out loud. I am ashamed of my weakness.

Recently, though, I have come face to face with this ugliness inside of me….God labeled it for me: broken. I am broken. And telling others about that brokenness, well, it’s really hard. But then, God showed me a picture of His love and of my beauty in it.

I was visiting with a friend of mine a one hundred year old church known for its stunning stained glass windows.  I was in awe of the beauty of man’s hand in this place, and I remember noticing that one of the windows was cracked.

I commented to my friend, “Oh, man…that’s too bad…that one is broken. I wonder if they are planning to restore it?” The priest behind us said, “No. That window has been cracked for over forty years. We won’t be restoring it.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Just wait a few more moments…you will see.” He said with a small smile and walked out of the sanctuary.

So my friend and I sat, and waited.

As the sun crested at high noon, the room was set on fire with light. Hundreds, no, thousands of tiny rainbows danced on the walls and the floors. Colors everywhere, some I can not even describe, chased and swam over the altar and the cross. All that unexpected beauty from a single crack with the light of the sun shining on it.

I realized in that moment that broken is beautiful…when the Light of the Son shines through the crack. Just as no other window will ever be able to recreate the effect that we saw that day, so no other person can ever tell my story of redemption. Will ever have my weakness to show God’s strength. Will ever be able to reflect God’s light in the way that I can. My brokenness…my shattered soul, carefully pieced back together can shine a million tiny little rainbows on the world…with God’s light. Now that’s beautiful!

Beauty isn’t about having it all together. It’s about being brave enough to show the cracks to the world and let God shine His light through them…then we can all be as beautiful as splintered glass.

9 thoughts on “As Beautiful as Splintered Glass

  1. i love the idea that broken = healed. Its all topsy turvy in God’s kingdom isn’t it? but it works, i think, because he both breaks and heals.

    thank you cari for writing this.

  2. WOW this was beautiful… absolutely beautiful. I love reading how the most stunning colors came through the brokenness. That speaks loudly to my soul.

    I found you from Sarah’s… I’m glad I did!

  3. Wow.
    Seriously, I loved your post. LOVED IT!

    My heart is so taken with the idea that His beauty shines through our brokenness like the light shines beauty through the broken stained glass.
    What an amazing picture.

    I am truly overwhelmed at the thought of God shinning through all my broken pieces in a way that can never be duplicated.

    Wow.
    Thank you so very much for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for commenting…This is the story God has been telling me in my life…but still such a difficult lesson to learn. Thank you for the encouragement!

  4. Thank you so much for your visit to my blog and your words left there.

    Sometimes I can’t get over how the struggles and wrestling matches in my life speak to another. Thank you for taking the time to read my heart. You have blessed me!

  5. I love your illustration here. I’ve been pondering lately how it is that we bring glory to God. God’s power and beauty shine even more brightly when it’s clear that it’s His light, not our goodness, shining forth.

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