I heard the doors open and shut. Another person walking into church late.
C’mon lady, the church is half empty and you come and sit right beside me. Hello? Have you not heard of personal space?
She gave me a weak smile, and I gave her one back. Not my first thought to do but we were in church.
A few minutes later tears started to stream down her face.
Oh no God, not today. I do not want to deal with this today. I just came to worship you, not talk to someone else.
Ask her if she is okay!
No God! I told you I did not want to do this today.
Reach out for her hand!
Are you serious? I will not do that. She will probably think I am hitting on her or something. From the way she is crying that is the last thing she needs.
That is what she needs. She needs a friend. She needs you.
God, in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t have any friends. I’m not exactly the kind of friend people want. I don’t have time for people in my life.
Offer her a tissue!
I don’t have one on me.
There are some in front of the church!
You want me to get up and walk to the front of the church, right in middle of the sermon?
I exhaled softly. Maybe it was loudly.
“Excuse me, let me go get you a tissue.”
“Thank you but you don’t have to.”
If only. “Yes, I do. God is telling me to go get you a tissue.”
She looked at me weird. I could hear her thoughts. This guy is crazy, thinking God is talking to him.
I came back and gave her the tissue.
We listened to the rest of the sermon. At the end of the service I sat there, waiting for her to get up. She didn’t.
C’mon God. Seriously, I have so much to do today.
Nothing more important than my daughter!
I looked at her and could tell she had a lot on her mind. Tears started to flow again.
“Are you okay?” Duh. Of course she isn’t okay.
I reached out and touched her hand and she looked at me with such sadness.
She started to talk. Opening up more and more as the minutes past. Everyone else had left the church and it was just her and myself. Well, and God.
She talked about her mistakes and her pain. Tears would come and go. I listened and tried to lighten the mood when the opportunity arose. I tried to offer encouragement where I could. The more I listened, the more I realized she was a lot like me. I forgot about all I needed to get done and just sat there and listened.
That’s when I heard God tell me to look up. I did and that’s when I saw the light shining through the stained glass window. How had I never noticed the stained glass window before? Maybe I had and just let it slide to the back of my mind. If I had noticed it before, I do not remember it being so beautiful.
That’s when I remembered something I had read about how stained glass windows were made.
I asked the woman to look up.
“Look at the stained glass window. See how beautiful it is. It’s beautiful, just like you. Just like me. In order for it to be made, it has to be broken. All the broken pieces are put together just so by its maker. You can’t see how all the broken pieces will turn out, just like you can’t see what next year or even what tomorrow will be. Then one day, presto. You see this beautiful, completed work of art. One day you and I will be a completed work of art. We just have to keep picking up the broken pieces and putting them together until we are complete.”
It was like a light went off behind her eyes.
She thanked me and got up and ran out of the church. I never even got her name.
She came back the next Sunday and we talked more and wouldn’t you know it, we became good friends. So good, in fact, that we are now married.
Our stained glass window is not complete. God is still putting more broken pieces together but I can see the picture. I can see how all the past mistakes, all the broken pieces are making a beautiful window. It would not look how it looks without all the broken pieces of glass. One day, our window will be complete and it will be more amazing than I could ever imagine.
Stained Glass by Jon Guerra-
Broken Things by Matthew West-
O Come To The Altar by Elevation Worship –
Pieces by Rob Thomas –
Broken Places by Plumb-