The View of the the Artist

The church doorbell rang late one afternoon a few yearsago. A couple in their seventies waved when they saw me coming to the door. As always, I took a couple of mental guesses as to who they were and what their need might be. I was wrong,again. The gentleman introduced himself and his sister. He asked permission to show her the stained glass windows. So I offered to take them around so that they could enter the sanctuary down the center aisle. I did not turn on the lights as the stained glass is best viewed in natural light. The glass gleamed in its richness; the architect had designed the shape of the building to receive the full light.

​The man then told us his story of labor and love of the windows on the north and south walls. Most people focus on the Good Shepherd window above and behind the pulpit. He wanted to talk about the other windows, for he was one of the men who had stained the glass into the various colors over thirty years earlier. He had fired the colors into the sheets of glass. He had been a part of the team that had cut the glass, dipped it in a black wash, hand rubbing every small piece with a cloth, being very careful not to leave any fingerprints, then firing all the pieces one final time. It was the largest, most complicated stained glass project of his career. Then came the assembly of the panels, putting lead around every individual piece of glass and iron supports for the longer pieces, always double-checking that he was following the patterns precisely. His sister and I were impressed as he showed us how the texture of the glass, in addition to the colors, transformed the room into a holy place. He said he now lived out of state and wanted to see, one more time, his artistry in its glorious setting. I saw the windows from the view of the artist.

​We talked a little while, then I left them alone to reflect and remember. I have to be careful about my assumptions of people or situations. Sometimes I can be too quick. I am so glad I listened to his story. Each week we have the opportunity to worship in the wonder of the artist’s stained glass.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Behold the view of the artist. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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