Remember kaleidoscopes — those tubes you hold up to your eye and point toward the light to see colorful shapes? When the far end of the optical instrument is turned, fragments of material inside an “object cell” shift and mirrors set at angles reflect light through the pieces, forming ever-changing patterns. A multi-hued flower might become sunlight through a round stained-glass window or fireworks on a clear night.
Various materials can be placed in the cell — tiny figures, twisted bits of metal, lace, viscous liquid — but often broken bits of glass are used, to beautiful effect! In fact, David Brewster, inventor of the kaleidoscope in 1817, named it after the Greek word kalos, for “beauty.”
Everyone feels broken, twisted or shattered at times. But when God’s perfect light shines in and through us, reflecting among the fragments of our imperfect lives, we, too, become beautiful. Out of our sinfulness and brokenness shines the beauty of compassion, kindness, perseverance, hope, love — delightful patterns to brighten this hurting world.