“Stained Glass” Drash

As most of you know, I have been involved in creating stained glass windows for a number of years now. Not too long ago, when I was unexpectedly called up to speak about one of my windows at a Friday night service, I had the occasion to draw a comparison between people and stained glass.  At first, one might think these are strange subjects to be comparing, but on further reflection, no pun intended, it is surprising how many important life aspects we do share.

Glass starts from a whole sheet of its own type glass. Like humans, there are all types of glass with multitudes of colors and textures. Some glass is clear, so you can see through it easy. Some glass is so dense, you can’t see through at all. Sometimes the glass needs to be grinded, refined, in order to fit, to find its place. However, in order to be part of something really special such as a stained glass window, all the individual pieces must be joined with other types of glass.  All different kinds of glass are necessary to fashion a stained glass window, and each piece of glass is important to creating a whole design.

Similarly, every person, and all people are necessary to realize fulfillment of our dreams of the entire world living together joined in unity. Comparable to the glass, we all start in our own families, before going out and meeting others in our neighborhoods, communities, cities, states and country.  Eventually, though, to make our lives meaningful and worthwhile, we must expand our connections and understandings to include all the life within our world, and beyond. Even as creating stained glass windows is a labor of love, so we must work to bring our love to others in order to achieve completion of our universal vision of peace and harmony for all creation.

At first, the sheets of glass are extremely fragile. Yet, eventually they become strengthened when they become part of something larger than themselves, like a window, where they are supported with others. Again it is the same with humans. By combining our efforts we became stronger and are able to accomplish so much more than any of us could individually.

Yet, for all the wonderful things you can do with glass, when it is dark outside, you cannot see it. It is only when light shines through it that it becomes a thing of radiating beauty, its illuminating light brightening and warming the lives of all those who view it. For people to be able to appreciate, enjoy and understand all that stained glass has to offer, they need to view it when it has made the connection with its light “source.”

It is the same with our lives. In order to be able to truly offer anything of value, we need to let others see us with the “light” shining through. Only then, will they be able to recognize us for who we actually are and know that we are all connected, all part of the same.

On a larger scale, it is the same with the world. When it is hard to see any hope for the future because of all the darkness, the best thing we can do is to add light. Perhaps that is why we are instructed to be “a light of the nations.”

May the light of God’s love shine through you now and always.