Shattered Brilliance

I’ve always been fascinated by kaleidoscopes. When I was a little girl my grandma had one in the toy box. I still remember it was made out of a cardboard tube with a tin top and hazy plastic bottom. Not much to look at, but out of all the toys in the box, it was my favorite. Back then, I didn’t know how a kaleidoscope worked; I just knew that it transformed gray shadows into magical, designs when I looked toward the light.

A few years ago, at the annual ArtPrize event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I saw a life-size kaleidoscope. You know what? I was still fascinated. I had the opportunity to talk to the artist about his quest to find the perfect ingredients to craft his object for ArtPrize.

Did you know the makeup of a kaleidoscope is from very basic materials? A tube, a few mirrors, some glass and plastic – nothing remarkable. Nothing remarkable. Does this sound familiar? That’s me. That’s us. Don’t we feel like that sometimes?

We feel a little like that tube, all shiny on the outside, but pretty hollow on the inside. Sometimes we’re shattered by the circumstances we’re living with and are exhausted in trying to figure out how to get through the maze.

Inside the tube, it’s dark. The remnants of shattered glass are everywhere. There are mirrors, but in this position they reflect nothing. Let’s work on that.

We are like a kaleidoscope in the making. All the ingredients are there; what we need is the Master builder to perform His work in us. Jesus said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Like the kaleidoscope life is a potpourri of events, decisions, activities, and situations. Some of them are exciting, others are bursting with happiness. Don’t we love those times and cement them firmly in our memories?

Then there are broken dreams, shattered opportunities and we want to forget they ever happened. Did you know God uses all of that – the good and the sorrowful – to make our lives beautiful and significant? The key is in our positioning. We have to get into the place where the Light of the World enters the dark, hollow tube and reflects off the mirrors of our hearts.

All those fragmented pieces of glass, those times when we feel shattered, point them to the light and turn the filter while they fall into a beautiful design. The colors change and illuminate in patterns, each one unique, each one beautiful. Your life is unique and beautiful. All those broken toys, all those shattered plans, give them all to Jesus. He is the Light of the World and will make your life beautiful.

The kaleidoscope – unremarkable. But when the position is just right, the light comes in, reflects off the mirrors, and the shards of glass illuminate with unique beauty. I agree with the Psalmist, David. Psalm 40:8 says I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart. The sun is rising on a new day.

I recently came across a verse in my bible that has been highlighted and underlined – one life enhancing truism: Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Today I’m thankful for hope through the good and bad, the ups and downs of how life happens. I’m thankful for light in a dark world. Now hand me that Kaleidoscope!

Leave a Comment

Refining Grace