The young boy walked the path several times a day. His bare feet squished in the mud as he walked along this narrow path to get water, go to school, and forage for food.
Rain had drenched all the paths and roads, making them sloppy and hard to travel in and out of the impoverished village.
A small, burlap bag, tied with an old piece of cloth, hung from the belt loop of his ripped pants. Each day, he walked through the village and picked up broken fragments of colored glass and put them in the bag.
The boy thought of himself as those discarded shards, having no purpose, but he thought, Someday, I’ll make something beautiful out of these broken pieces.
A missionary, scheduled to speak at the small church in the boy’s village, arrived at the nearby airport and felt led to buy a book, one of no interest to him. Though puzzled, he bought it.
On the first Sunday, the missionary preached on the worth God sees in each life. The boy listened intently as the missionary taught how God takes all the broken pieces of each life and turns them into something beautiful. Something with purpose, for God’s glory.
When the service was over, the missionary felt led to give the book to the boy, who was grateful but perplexed as to what he would do with it.
After the missionary left, the boy began reading the book, which triggered an idea. He wrote a letter to the missionary asking a favor. When the missionary received the letter, he rushed the requested items to the boy.
A few days before the missionary’s package arrived, a storm swept through the village, knocking down a tree and breaking a window in the little church.
Unfortunately, no funds existed to fix the window. Since the rainy season had begun, the members feared more rain would pour in and ruin the church if the window was not fixed. So, they covered the opening the best they could.
When the package arrived, the boy gathered all his broken pieces of colored glass, moved them around to form a pattern, and soon fashioned a lovely design.
As he worked, he kept repeating one verse the missionary had quoted, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” *
As the boy worked, the Lord whispered to him, “As the artist works, he unites the pieces of glass together, redeeming them into a beautiful work of art. So it is with your life. I work to bond your broken fragments together, uniting them for good, redeeming them into something beautiful.”
When he had finished his work, the boy took the window to the pastor, who was deeply grateful and praised the boy’s work. Members of the church helped put in the window while there was a lull in the rain.
On Sunday, the boy went to church, excited to see his beautiful shards of redemption in place. He slowly walked in, and, overwhelmed at the sight, fell to his knees, lifting his hands to praise the Lord. A momentary ray of sun filtered through the stunning hues of the stained glass, casting a shadow of the cross across the young boy’s face…and his heart.
Tears streamed down his cheeks, for he now knew God had blessed him and had fit all his broken pieces together, redeeming him. He carried these words in his heart thereafter…
I am no longer broken. I am redeemed.
Now, I have worth and a purpose. For God’s glory.
Do you know you have worth and beauty and a purpose? Do you know God will redeem all the shards of your life, making you into something beautiful for His glory?
May you always know how valuable and worthy you are…Lynn