My hometown has managed to make it through another hurricane season unscathed.
On September 10th, 1964, hurricane Dora barreled onto the Northeast coast of Florida. The only hurricane to hit Jacksonville in recorded history, she came in with 115 mph winds. I was six years old.
Our family of four huddled close all night as the wind howled and the rain came down in sheets. When the man in the transistor radio said all was clear, we went out to survey the damage in our neighborhood. My parents biggest concern was the small Episcopal church we attended which was nestled between large oaks and sat precariously close to the St Johns river.
Wading through what was for me, knee-deep water, we came to the church and my parents worst fears were realized. A big oak had fallen onto the roof crushing the front of the building. There was a gaping hole where the stained glass window once hung. The window was perfection; the grandest piece of art this little girl’s eyes had ever seen. But on this day it laid in lifeless pieces. Nothing more than shards of glass, floating in muddy water.
As our eyes stared in disbelief at the mess the storm left, the sun cut through the clouds and straight through the gaping hole left by the fallen tree. The rays of sunlight began to bounce off the broken glass reflecting a prism of color onto the dismal rain-soaked walls of the church. Crimson, yellows, hue of indigo and greens, danced about as the bits of glass came to life in a kaleidoscope of brilliance. A ray of hope splashed onto the dark scene. The sun made the window more beautiful than before. Even though it was broken, it was beautiful.
2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”
I’m telling you this story because you and me, we’re like the stained glass window. We are a perfectly designed piece of art when we are formed in our mother’s womb. A masterpiece of the Great Creator. But then the storms, doubts and temptations bring us crashing down into a million pieces. We become like the colorless glass in the muddy water. By ourselves we have no light. By ourselves we reflect nothing.
We are broken.
But just as the sun broke through the clouds and into the hole left by the storm, if we let Him, God’s Son will fill up the hole that the storms of life have left in our hearts.
The joy He gives illuminates the most dismal of rooms and the laughter coming from a well-lit heart brings color into dark corners.
And like the verse in 2 Corinthians tells us, we will shine and be a reflection of His glory.
Jesus wants to shine through you today and bring light and life to sullen spaces. He wants you to dance in a kaleidoscope of brilliance. He longs to fill you with His hope. Won’t you let Him shine through your broken pieces?
On this side of heaven we will never be perfect but when Jesus takes up residence in our hearts, even though we’re broken, we’re beautiful.