Beautiful panes of colored glass seem to be perfection. Without flaws, the colors stand apart.
Then it all breaks. What can we do with broken glass? We hate the idea of brokenness. We fear that whatever caused the breakage may be repeated. What can we do when what was flawless and self-contained is shattered?
This is the way our lives can become at times. Is everything falling apart? Are we feeling shattered? Are powerful forces threatening to totally crush us? If disaster befalls us, can we survive? In our brokenness, are we increasingly vulnerable? Will we become useless, the pieces of our lives swept together and tossed out?
When we think that we have to be totally independent, invulnerable and flawless then we will miss out on some amazingly beautiful parts of living.
Kaleidoscopes are made by gathering shards of different colors, mixing them together and viewing them from many different angles. When people give up their need to be seen as perfect and admit their interdependence with others who are equally human they can become part of the ever-changing, multifaceted beauty of the human kaleidoscope we call community.
If we accept that a divine hand is guiding all humanity, then we can think about all the beautiful broken pieces being placed together by a master designer. We are part of a picture that can inspire others. At Pioneer we call these masterpieces of broken glass stained glass windows.
This month, when we gather in Thanksgiving, we can mope about all disasters of our lives or we can step back, look at life from different angles and see the beauty that surrounds us. Even if life is constantly shifting for us, we can understand that the kaleidoscope is being turned so new patterns emerge. Eventually we may see the stained glass masterpiece to which we contributed in our glorious imperfection. Until then, don’t let your feelings of imperfection keep you from fully enjoying this life.