The transformation from sand to glass is remarkable and the finished product, a thing of beauty.
Glass gathers light, magnifies and replicates. Glass can be tamed and transformed into an image-bearing mirror or cut to reflect multiple hues through a prism. I have to admit, I love clear glass. And not just artistic forms of glass, I love windows.
A carefully placed window can become a work of art in our home. It allows the changing environment of the outdoors to grace our static indoor world. Behind its safe barrier we’re able to witness the wild. Bees, birds and harsh weather can be experienced without consequence. From our couch we’re able to watch waves crash or icicles form – wild animals eating or hummingbirds dance.
Although beautiful, there is danger in window glass.
The danger is more than its shattering. The danger is missing the world beyond.
When we venture outside, past the pane of glass, we risk. But we also move toward delight and even an encounter with God himself. The Bible clearly tells us he speaks through our surroundings. We hear his greatness when we sit still listening to the soft whir of bird’s wings or rustling leaves.
We are challenged to trust him when brave enough to sit quietly on an ocean cliff dampened by salty droplets. Life is imparted when we’re in an open clearing deep in the woods feeling sunrays on our back, listening and waiting.
Smells, sounds, sensations and sights are intensified when experienced in unison. His presence is tangible.
It’s no wonder Christ left the crowds and could often be found alone, outside. He was sand. He submitted to experiential fire and became the perfect reflection of, and window pane to – his father.
We risk only partially knowing him when we remain in the safety of our own little houses – observing. We miss the full encounter when we fail to take the risk of venturing outside. Not outside our houses, but outside of ourselves and through partial exposure. We experience him through his Word and in church, but not exclusively. He is all consuming and everywhere.
When we explore the everywhere-ness of him rather than merely watching from a distance, the sand of our soul is swept up into the hand of God. He chooses the furnace we need to be placed within – adjusts the fire just so and we are formed.
A grain of sand, part of an eternal plan – more than a glimpse and beyond the glass.
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