Like Stained Glass Windows

It was one of those days….

We’ve all had them. Nothing was going right.

I won’t go into all the little bumps throughout the day. But, I arrived at my desk first thing in the morning to start chipping away at my “to-do” list. My main computer—the one where I keep everything stored—refused to open up Windows. All I got was a message that continued to recycle explaining that Windows was having a problem and that if it had shut down due to blah-blah to restart one way. If it shut down because of interruption in power, blah-blah, to restart by highlighting another option. 

No matter what I tried—and I tried everything I could think of—like shutting off power for a period of time and rebooting, then disconnecting every cord and cable and reconnecting—nothing worked.

I have a laptop that I use primarily for writing, but I’m also able to connect to the Internet—and thank goodness that I back up most of what’s created on the main computer to my laptop. But … I’ve been negligent in backing up everything.

After an extended amount of time, I gave up trying to fix it and accepted the fact that I’d need some professional help—for the computer, that is … One son-in-law is a computer programmer, so I put in the necessary call and left a message begging for help.

I took a break and went grocery shopping in an attempt to relieve some frustration. Now you have to understand … I enjoy grocery shopping about as much as I enjoy cleaning toilets, eating Brussels sprouts, or suffering with a full bladder during a long flight from the west to the east coast with a window to my right and two sleeping strangers to my left.

I’m afraid I didn’t handle the inner anxiety over a messed up computer and lost time very well. Usually, I’m a pretty calm person—so calm it can irritate my husband. But I wasn’t handling that day with a peaceful, tranquil, and composed attitude.

Nervous energy even pushed me to dust the blinds hanging from my office windows.

Then I was reminded—perhaps by an angel—of one of my favorite quotes.

“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Things happen. We all experience little ups and downs—road blocks and irritations in our lives. Some walk through dark tunnels, wondering if they’re ever going to see daylight. Others deal with one crisis after the other.

It’s easy to be happy and pleasant when things are going our way. How we deal with interruptions—and sometimes life-changing obstacles and heartbreaks—reveals who we really are inside.

Shine on!


Sparkling Glass

Like most people, I don’t use fine china or crystal for everyday dining. Actually, I don’t even own a set of china. But I have acquired a variety of lovely glass bowls, vases, serving dishes, and goblets. Some of them are heirlooms, passed down from relatives no longer with us.

I display the pieces on glass shelving in a large, oak hutch. When a light within the unit is turned on, the glassware sparkles and reflects off the mirror that covers the back of the hutch.

Some of the dishes are used when we have guests, but others can go months without being touched. I realized last weekend that it was definitely time for a thorough cleaning. Despite everything looking beautiful a few feet away, a close-up view (with my reading glasses on) showed a layer of dust on the shelves and a film covering dishes rarely used. Yuck! I removed and washed each piece until it gleamed. Now with the interior light turned on, the glass inside sparkles.

Isn’t that a great example of our lives and relationships?

We can go about our day, thinking everything is cool. From a distance, our view looks great! Our marriages seem to be on solid ground. The kids are doing well. Our friends surely know that we care and are available should they need us. We’ll still be “tight” when we get around to spending time with them. Right?

What if we took a closer look?

Do any of our relationships need a little TLC? A little tender, loving care? A little cleaning up?

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much.

A hug and a word of praise can put a grin on a child’s face. Saying a heartfelt “thank you” for a helpful gesture can make a spouse feel appreciated. A phone call inviting a friend to meet for a cup of coffee can open the door to mutual sharing.

What small thing can we do this week to help make our relationships sparkle?


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