I love stained glass windows. There is something magical about them, the way each colour uniquely glows as the passing sunlight projects through the panes. I often find myself, neck craned, on tip toes trying to see every bit of detail, the images are static but in my mind they dance and change as frequently as the clouds roll by.
In one of my local churches, just to the right of the altar, is a stained glass window with the depiction of Jesus on the cross. I only really get to look at it when I’m on my knees waiting to receive communion.
I had turned up early for the Thursday service, so I decided to wander down the aisle and stand at the foot of the altar so I could look at the window.
I was there only a few minutes and suddenly the sunlight broke through and shone brightly through the image of Christ; I took in a sharp breath and I held it as the light began to grow stronger and brighter. I didn’t want to move in case the sunlight disappeared, I felt the heat from the light growing, not only on my face but from my stomach, then rising into my chest. I couldn’t look away, I didn’t want to look away, my soul was being pulled, called to stay there at the altar. I was breathing heavier now, like I’d received amazing news and was taken aback.
Eventually the light faded, I assumed the clouds had covered the sun in their grey blanket and the window became still again.
Suddenly I became very aware of where I was, standing at the foot of the altar, grasping my service book, my head raised, my eyes dry from lack of blinking.
I looked away, how long had I been stood there? What had just happened? I felt like I’d swallowed a hot ball of fire which was still glowing like embers within me.
For however long I’d been stood there the worries that I’d had when I’d walked into the church had been lifted. My heart felt lighter, even though I’d been told just a few hours before, that my parents marriage was over.
My legs finally obeyed and I turned to walk back down the aisle, I opened my pew door with clumsy hands.
I sat there feeling so thankful, so grateful and so humbled by the love of Christ.
God’s love for us, projected through his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, is the best comfort I could receive.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)