Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Broken glass

Today’s Reading: John 18:26-27(NIV)

26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the olive grove?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Good morning!

It is hard to see the Savior through shards of broken glass.

When my parents married in 1945, the war was finally coming to an end. Its devastation had cut the world to the quick. People in the United States were longing for peace, even in the midst of great chaos. Rations were still in effect, and it was a challenge to set up housekeeping with virtually no household goods available for purchase. My folks shared living quarters with some family friends in South Saint Louis, while my father looked for work and a place to live. They learned of a small flat coming available, to a couple whose marriage had shattered during the war. They sold everything they owned to my folks. Daddy and mother were fortunate enough to inherit their apartment along with all its contents. Items that were not yet available for purchase became theirs. They inherited a warm bed to sleep on with clean sheets and blankets, a fully-furnished kitchen with pots, pans, dishes and eating utensils, a small sofa, and even a box of tiny glass Christmas ornaments tucked away in a small hope chest. My mother said the ornaments were beautiful antiques, remnants of days gone by. Daddy chopped a small fir tree down at the family farm, and hauled it into the city. In the apartment, Mother hung the delicate glass ornaments on the tree. She wrapped its branches in freshly popped strings of popcorn and brightly colored cranberries, placing a shiny metal star on top. She held fast to hope, even in a hopeless situation.

Holding onto hope is hard when people are starving in the streets. It was a cold, dark winter, and joy was in short supply. People were struggling to survive, to hold onto the things that mattered most in life. Mother wept uncontrollably when she heard a glass ornament hit the floor. Tiny fragments of glass shattered everywhere, leaving its mark on the hard wood. She thought about the family whose marriage had failed, and for all families who were separated during the war. She knew just how fortunate she was, yet worried about the ones suffering around her. She longed for the light of the world to light up the dark spaces on Saint Louis city streets, to restore great joy to the joyless, and find the One eternal hope even in the midst of great poverty. As she swept up the tiny fragments of glass, Mother saw the reflection of her Savior’s love emerging from the shards of broken glass.

Peter stood, fearful and trembling, in the garden. The Savior of the world was being beaten and abused; he heard the cries of the soldiers and knew His friend was suffering. Peter was terrified, wondering whether he might be taken captive too. When asked if he knew the Lord, Peter’s reply hit the ground like tiny shards of broken glass. As the rooster began to crow, Peter remembered Jesus’ words, and was ashamed that he had denied knowing His Lord not once, but three times.

We can find Christ’s grace and forgiveness in the midst of broken glass. This Christmas, there are many who suffer; they do not have adequate shelter, food to eat, or a warm place to stay. How can we convey hope to a hopeless world? Can you see the Savior’s love shining through a broken heart?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO



© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.

No comments: