I read a meditation recently that said that stained glass windows are made of broken and imperfect pieces, that when put together make a beautiful picture. The meditation went on to express that this is the same as us in the hands of God – that we are broken and imperfect, but when we join together, God makes us into something beautiful.
Except it doesn’t work like that. Stained glass windows aren’t made from broken and imperfect pieces. There is nothing random about what happens. Each piece is specially cut for the job. The entire picture is known at the beginning, and each piece is planned out by a master craftperson. The pieces aren’t broken. There are no accidents. They may look irregular, and only make sense once they are assembled into the whole, but there is nothing random about the pieces. They were cut into that shape for a reason.
Each one of us is odd, and has irregular edges. We are sharp in places, emotionally and mentally. We are round in places too. We are weird and random sometimes. But we are made that way. We were created, each of us, to be exactly the way we are. When God joins us together we can be shaped into something pretty amazing.
But then there is more to stained glass windows. They come alive when light is shining through them. This, metaphorically, is the light of God. The windows can have a beautiful picture of an instructive scene, but it doesn’t catch your eye and inspire you until it is lit up with sunlight. We too are the same. We transform when we are lit up by God.
When we allow God to get involved in our lives we are changed. We are stronger, better, brighter. We can join together to defeat hunger, cure diseases, and make the world better. We can join together to stop war. God (or the Creator, or Spirit) is the light that sparks us as individuals, and the glue that holds us individuals together.
So sure – go with that stained glass image. But know that there is nothing accidental, and that the pieces aren’t irregular or broken. We are made the way we are because that is the way we are needed.