“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” - Elizabeth Kubler-RossIn thinking about the beauty of stained glass, several beautiful pieces come to mind that are world-renowned and bring millions of visitors each year to be admired, contemplated, and enjoyed.
Glass is quartz sand, but sand nonetheless, abundantly found inland on the continents. Metallic salts are added in to create the beautiful colors allowing the hues to glow when light hits them. Originally gold dust was added to make the deep red but now copper is more commonly used. Blue is created when cobalt is added to the glass. Copper oxides are used to make green and bluish green. Brilliant colors add interest and detail so that people can enjoy whatever stories are told through these windows.
Note that something is added to the glass to create the variety of colors. This makes me think that when we let God add His grace and mercy into our lives so we reflect His "colors" to the world. "And we all... beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord..." - 2 Corinthians 3:12 (ESV)
Also, in the process of glass-making there is heat. This, too, reminds us that God allows events to change us, transform us, make us more like Him, and to shape us into something beautiful. Events in our lives may not seem pleasant or enjoyable or even bearable at times, but God is doing a good work in us. "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." - Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
And like the hours the craftsman painstakingly spends on the cathedral window to create such spectacular scenes, God spends His time on us, in fact, Jesus spent His life for our redemption. And God is long-suffering, and patient - qualities associated with mercy and hope - and He continues to work on us, with us, and through us. What a demonstration of love!
So when you look at a stained glass window, in person or a picture, think of God. Think of His grace and mercy. Think of His making us beautiful, making us more like Him. And then shine His light for the world to see the beauty of Him in your life!
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:6 (ESV)