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Friday, March 3, 2017

The Story of Stained Glass

If there’s anything I’ve learned in 20 years it’s that God uses processes to transform.

It’s a cold lonely road. A road void of worth and purpose.

To be broken is to be a fragment of the person you thought you were supposed to be.

There is something significant about fragments in scripture. To be fragmented indicates that something has shattered, that something is incomplete, that there are pieces that are separated from the whole. And there will be times in life when something within you shatters. When your soul is simply fragmented.

Have you ever had something inside of you truly break? Has your worth not only been tarnished but utterly shattered into fragments? Have you remained in isolation in fear that no one else could possibly relate to the emotions you’re experiencing?

Masterpieces are often constructed from broken pieces. And often for something to be usable it must first be broken.

In fact, brokenness is a thread that runs all throughout scripture. It is carefully woven into the very fabric of every success story, every triumph, every display of God’s glory.

Yet, brokenness is the silver lining that surprises human beings. How could God use something that’s been shattered? Wouldn’t God be better off using something already whole…

This is the truth: There will be a season in your life where you feel misunderstood, unworthy and unusable for a perfect, faultless, whole God. A God who has never been fragmented and will never be.

Yet, this God, this perfectly whole, unblemished entity has felt the same pain that we endure, and He bore the punishment and emotional pain of an imperfect man. In fact, this God felt lonely and isolated and misunderstood. He understands the feeling of betrayal because humanity has blatantly betrayed Him time and time again. Yet, throughout the ages He has loved and loved again.

This perfect, whole God became man and lived a humble, misunderstood life. He did this so that He could understand the emotions of a broken, fallen, seemingly unusable creation. He became man so that He could not only see the brokenness of man, but physically feel the weight of humanity’s shame on His shoulders. He felt every bit of the shame and condemnation that we face and He carried them to broken pieces of wood. Wood from a tree, broken in order to become usable. Broken to serve the greatest purpose the world has ever known.

The cross, simply broken pieces of wood, meant to destroy and deplete the life of a criminal were fashioned and purposed into the very symbol of freedom.
So this brings us to the story of stained glass. The creation of stained glass is a process much like our lives. Historically, broken pieces of glass material are put under the pressure of heat in order to make something usable. Those broken, seemingly unusable pieces are then fused together to create one of the most breathtaking masterpieces known to the world.

Could it be that a perfect, whole God knew that it would take being broken, and put under pressure to create a usable masterpiece for His light to shine through. You see without light stained glass would not be the masterpiece that captures the attention of the world. Without light the striking beauty of the broken pieces would be overlooked. But when His light shines through broken pieces, fused together with Artistic design, the world is captured by the raw, unexplainable beauty of such a work. You see, a masterpiece is not praised in and of itself, but instead the Artist is praised and given glory. A piece of this sort brings worldly acclaim to the Artist. 

Perhaps this Artist uses broken pieces to create a work that shows His ability give wholeness and purpose to the most shattered of individuals.

You see, brokenness is an integral part in the making of a masterpiece. Only a true Artist understands the power of the process.

Know this: Years from now you will stand in awe of the masterpiece He created from humble fragments.

If you feel today that you cannot be used by God, or you don’t feel worthy enough, or whole enough, know that who you are in this current state is exactly what He is searching for.

After feeding the multitudes in John 6, we find that Jesus says something profound, and seemingly irrelevant about leftovers.

“Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”

I believe this verse is one of the most telling verses in scripture. Why? Because this Jesus is the master of fragmented things. He does not throw things away. Instead, He takes fragments and molds them into something beautiful.

Trust the process. Have faith in the Artist.

He is the master of broken pieces. 

1 comment:

  1. Well written piece. Do you think on another occasion you could do a make up tutorial?