Stained Glass Lives

Recently a loved one received results of a neuropsychological report that revealed three separate mental health diagnoses. Not surprising, for her dad sports one, her mother the other two. Endeavoring to encourage her I mused, “the stained glass of your life has just become more colorful.” For, after all, we all have a diagnosis, at least one. And, happily, that does not diminish one’s value.

Thinking about stained glass, formed from silica being melted at extreme heat, additives thrown in, minerals enfolded, and all manner of manipulation done to create beautiful colored glass, another life lesson came to mind. Like those most magnificent stained glass masterpieces, formed of intricate broken pieces being fitted together into a thing of beauty, so too can be the pieces of our broken lives. None of us are pure, clear, without blemish or imperfection, so colorful prisms we might as well be.

Perusing the exquisite creations my stained glass artist friend creates, I noticed that when the brilliance of light shines through, hidden beauty deep within the glass is revealed. Surely in the hands of a Master Craftsman the broken pieces of our lives can be fashioned together to reveal the deeper beauty and meaning out of our chaos. I care not to go down in a rubbled heap! A diagnosis, or three, need not defeat, but become another facet in the prism, another plane for reflection, a jeweled surface.

I relish the thought of being made precious, of being of great value, of being a beautiful treasure to the One Who made me and calls me His own. Who takes my broken pieces, and those of my loved ones, and fashions us into something much grander than we can imagine. What a wonder! May His light always shine through our broken selves, revealing the ongoing work of His redeeming hand. And may the glory go to Christ Jesus, Who shepherds us home!

My prayer for our beloved one, and all who grapple with the cloak of a mental health diagnosis, is that the hidden gems of life and beauty may be found within its depths. As we melt with the intensity of new understanding may we focus forward with hope and assurance to the masterpiece that is being fashioned. Beauty is born of tension, adversity, and all manner of unloveliness. Take heart, dear hearts! Remember from Whom your value truly comes, and let God’s perfect light, shining into and through you, make you wholly beautiful!

Zachariah 9:16- 17a declares:
The Lord their God will save them in that day,
As the flock of His people.
For they shall be like the jewels of a crown,
Lifted like a banner over His land—
17 For how great is its goodness
And how great its beauty!

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