Pieces of Glass
by Donna Schlachter
Having grown up near the ocean, I’ve spent a lot of time walking along the beaches. I find the gentle rhythm of the sea to be a great comfort. And it doesn’t matter whether the water is so calm that it looks like glass, or the storm is raging all around – I still find solace in the sounds and smells of the ocean. The treasures to be found on an ocean beach are unlike anywhere else. I love to walk just above the high tide line, and see what the water has relinquished this time.
Perhaps the best lesson I’ve learned concerns those little pieces of glass that are washed ashore. These are pieces of bottles and such that ended up in the ocean for whatever reason, and then were pounded and beaten by the water against the rocks and gravel and sand, to end up on the beach. They are usually small, sole survivors of a harrowing journey. Depending on how long they’ve been in the water, they’ll have varying degrees of smooth edges, the ones with the smoothest edges having been in the water the longest. Sometimes they’re clear, sometimes they’re green, or brown, depending on the original color of the glass. The wonderful thing about these pieces of glass is that each one is unique. There are no two alike, because no two pieces have gone through the same circumstances.
What can we learn from looking at this glass? I saw myself. Beaten by the world, broken by circumstances into small pieces. Not worth a second glance. When you first see these small pieces of glass, they look like small jewels. But while they look perfect on the outside, hold them up to the light, and you will see small flaws and hairline cracks inside the glass. Just like me. I may look okay on the outside, but when I compare myself to the Light of the World, I can see my imperfections. But you know something? I am still treated like a treasure. Because there is none other created exactly like me.
That’s when I saw that the sand is not meant to destroy the pieces of glass, merely to smooth off the rough edges, and polish the glass to a satin sheen. In the same way, God intends the things He takes us through to complete the good work He has already started. It may not be comfortable, but it is necessary.
God knew me before the beginning of time. He created me to be me. Sure, I took a few detours along the way. I banged myself up against some pretty big rocks. I got worn down on some very rough gravel. But that doesn’t make me less desirable to God. In fact, it makes me more desirable to Him. And so I bring to Him all of my imperfections, my worn spots and hairline cracks, and ask Him to fix me. And He makes me whole. He is the only One Who can.
Come to Him with your cracks and imperfections. Ask Him to fix whatever is not perfect and complete, so that you can reflect His light and love to the world.
God, show me the Light of the World, Your Son. Show me that only through Him can I truly be made whole. Amen