One image or metaphor about the transformation that is to occur in the Christian life that has always stayed with me, is C. S. Lewis' image of a lead soldier becoming flesh and bone. How would the lead soldier, if given voice, react to the hard metal becoming soft flesh? Like that mythical soldier, we, too, complain about being changed by God.
Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon at the Coffield maximum security prison. It was a Kairos reunion weekend. When I go, I normally make myself available for Spiritual Counselling and confession (I know I can't grant absolution, but these guys are often in extremis about their sins and need to hear that Jesus Christ forgives them.) Yesterday was no different.
Now, our reunions take place in the Chapel at Coffield. This chapel has a beautiful stained glass window with swirlling colors.
I've often used the image of broken glass and stained glass windows. A stained glass window is a beautiful work of art that is made with broken glass. Just as the artist in the window selects glass based in the artist's needs and not the glasses preference, so God selects us and the ministry He gives us based on His needs, not on our desires.
What if the glass could feel? What if the glass had a say in where it was placed or if it was placed in the window?
Brothers and Sisters, we are the bits of glass in God's stained glass window. God scores us and breaks us to fit where we are in the window. If we rebel, we are often broken more than if we hadn't rebelled. If we put ourselves in the hands of another artist, we may be malformed and need to be broken even more.
As pieces of glass, we have two functions. First we let the light shine through us. We are not the source of the light, but we do color the light by the shading given to us by God. Second, we fit into a pattern. We can't see the pattern from where we are, so we have to trust God - we have to faith - that God will place us where He wants and needs us.
While I can't see the pattern myself, I have the witness of others who have seen parts of the pattern. I faith that the Artist knows His mind and is creating something of utmost beauty.
Are you willing to be scored and broken? Are you willing to be heated and melted? Are you willing to let God prepare you for your place in the Great Stained Glass Window that is His Kingdom?
Pray that we will all have the grace to be scored, broken, melted, colored, and fitted into our place in God's designs.