The colours of suffering

Some years ago I was studying a chaplaincy course and we were set a creative assignment based on identifying how people and events had influenced both our lives, as well as impacted our faith. As soon as I heard the parameters of the task I immediately knew what I would make, and what it would depict. The picture is the result of my creativity with this assignment and the following words are the explanation that partners with this quilted wall hanging:

“One of the influential people in my life told me that suffering colours life but it is up to me what colour to make it.  I came to faith as a 6 year old and so the cross in my picture representing my connection to Jesus has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember.  It takes the central position in my window and the rest of my life experiences fit in around it.

The broken pieces of glass represent those things that have happened in my life, some good, some not so good.  I could choose to view the broken pieces of glass as rubbish and not worth very much, but they could also be seen as useful ingredients in the bigger picture of my journey of faith.

Glass edges are sharp and can cause great injury, so I need to take care when I piece these shards into the window.  To work out where they fit in relation to my journey of spirituality I need to turn them over and around and ponder how they help form the overall design of my life.  This examination has the potential to cause further pain.

We have the opportunity to learn through every experience in life, but I have found that it’s the times of pain and despair that I learn the most about who I am and how I view God and our relationship.  There are gaps in the window to remind me that the journey is not yet over.  There will still be moments of pain and therefore more opportunities to grow.  Basically, my creation demonstrations that Jesus is central in my life and He helps my life to make sense and to be seen as a thing of beauty.”

I am not entirely sure why, but I have felt quite led to share this picture and story with you all this week.  If it is for you, be assured that God can use the broken pieces of your life to make something remarkable for others to see.  He can do it for you, because I am amazed every day that He has done it for me.  I choose to allow suffering to bring colour to my life and to share that beauty with others.

Be blessed.

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