My friend Cheryl asked me if I wanted to take a stained glass class with her this spring at our local community college. Since I love all things arts and crafts, of course I said yes! We both thought that it was going to be a pretty easy class. The last one she had taken she just put these kits together, which already had the glass cut out and everything, so that’s what we were both expecting. We got to class the first day, and opened our kits to start the class, and it included tools to cut our own glass. We were both a little surprised, but ready to go and see where it would take us.
My favorite part of it all is picking out the glass. There are so many different colors and patterns to choose from. The possibilities are completely endless! One thing that you have to do before you can pick the perfect piece of glass for the project is hold it up to the light so it can shine through. I’m constantly amazed at how different a piece of glass can look sitting on a table as compared to holding it up to the light. Here’s the thing, though, most of the time it looks a ton better than it does without the light shining through it.
Usually my first impressions of things and of people don’t change. My attitude is a lot more judgmental than I would like to admit. I’m also pretty judgmental with myself if that makes any sense to you. I’m usually more than willing to give someone else another shot at something or extend grace to someone else a whole lot easier than I am willing to extend it to myself.
I worked in the legal field for about 7 years in what seems like a past life now. During that time I came in contact with a lot of people who had a lot of problems. I think this might be where my judgment of people really started to change me. I could extend grace to someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I could even extend a little grace to murderers. To this day, though, I can still remember every child abuse, sexual abuse and neglect case that I dealt with. Thankfully they didn’t come around too often, but they came around often enough. How can someone extend grace to these people? They hurt little children and unsuspecting victims.
We live in a fallen world. I get that. I really do. The problem is, is that sometimes I forget that we’re fallen. Even myself. I should be above these sins that I struggle with. I should be able to rise above. I am a creature saved by grace and loved by the King, yet I still fall and struggle every day.
The thing with stained glass is when you’re working on a project, you’ve got it sitting on a white piece of board in front of you. So until you get it done and hold it up to the light, there’s really no way to really tell what it’s going to look like. I’ve never held a project up to the light and ever been disappointed with it. I may have been a little surprised at how differently it turned out than what I had expected, but I’ve never been disappointed. I guess looking at something through the Light makes all the difference in how we grow and extend grace and forgive and love.
My prayer is that I start looking at everything through the Light before I judge. I pray that I can love like Jesus, the Light of the World, loved, and live according to His teachings. Lord, help me to see myself and others through your light. Help your light to shine on me so that I can take it and shine in the dark places and see people through your eyes.