Monday, July 25, 2011

Stained Glass

At the School of Christian Mission, we were talking about the Genesis story of Jacob and Esau.  One of the questions concerned Jacob’s wrestling with – well, with God?  with an angel?  with a man?  Whoever it was…. 

The book asked a question about Jacob’s dislocated hip – the wound he received along with a new name.  What was the significance of this?

I think that when we are wounded, emotionally, or spiritually, that we have the hope of moving through the wound a changed person – a person with a new name.  I hope that on the recovery side of a hurt, I may be stronger or more mature or improved in some way.  I think that is one of the benefits of moving through something like that with the presence of God.  Transformation.

The leader of the class read a story by Heather Murray Elkins about stained glass.  She was designing worship for a conference, and asked them to give her an image of where they were.  The answers came back as broken glass. 

Think about broken glass.  It’s sharp, piercing.  It can be blood-stained from the hurt it might inflict.  Stained glass.

Think about stained glass in a church.  It’s beauty comes from the stain – from the colors and the story they symbolize.  Its greatest beauty – its only beauty – comes when light shines through it.

I wonder if sometimes our wounds are like this image of stained glass.  The beauty can develop from the stain, and it is most obvious when the light of Christ shines through us.



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