The Stained-Glass Windows
Lamentations 3:21-23 “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ESV
A few years back, our congregation held a church grounds clean-up day. While trimming shrubs, an elderly man approached. He was walking by our building and had admired our stained-glass windows. Very politely, he asked if it would be possible to see the windows from inside our building with the lights coming through them. Seeming to be a kind gentleman, I escorted him into our auditorium. As we entered, I heard him stop in his tracks and gasp. Worried that he might have suffered a heart attack, I quickly turned around, only to see him mesmerized by the windows with his hand over his mouth. Not sure of how I was to respond to this, I froze and waited for him to start breathing again. Shortly, he took his hand from his mouth and began walking down our aisle and studying each window. After an awkward period of silence, he loudly exhaled and said, “These are breath-taking!” He continued studying each and every window, commenting on the design and colors of each. After what seemed an eternity, (not that I minded because, remember, I was getting out of trimming shrubs) he thanked me profusely and left, shaking his head in disbelief of the beauty he had witnessed.
As I reluctantly returned to yard work, I reflected on my brief encounter with this stranger, realizing that I, too, once experienced those same feelings. I entered the building for the first time about thirty-five years ago. I recall stopping in my tracks to take in the beauty of the light shining through the colors of the stained-glass. Throughout worship service, I sat and stared at the windows, barely able to concentrate on the sermon. Never had I seen such beautiful glass.
However, I have entered that auditorium thousands of times now, and long ago ceased to notice the windows. Yes, they are still beautiful and they still gloriously radiate the sun. But, unfortunately, I rarely glance their way. Their beauty is there every single time I walk in and they always shine and they are always majestic, so I have become accustomed to their majesty and take them for granted. The windows have not changed at all. It is I who have ceased to notice them.
Lamentations speaks of God’s glorious mercies being new to us every single day. When we were new Christians, His daily compassions mesmerized us, just like a first encounter with the beautiful windows. We reveled in the mercies of forgiveness when we failed, spiritual healing when we wandered away, comfort for our weary souls, peace in hard times, and much, much more. But, have we become so accustomed to God’s daily mercies that we take them for granted and cease to even notice their beauty? If so, are we allowing days to pass without thanking Him? The writer of Lamentations tells us to purposefully call these mercies to our mind and we will receive hope. God’s beautiful display of His mercies for us never ceases. They are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Dear Father, may we daily open our eyes to their beauty.
Father God, as we start this new day, may we never take for granted your constant and faithful mercies that surround us. We praise you for their splendor. `