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The Beauty of Being Part of God’s Stained-Glass Windows

By Rebecca Siar, a Former Echo Apprentice in the Diocese of Joliet and Current Director of Campus Ministry at the St. John Paul Ii Newman Center (University of Illinois at Chicago) and President of Chicago's Chapter of Young Catholic Professionals

The Beauty of Being Part of God’s Stained-Glass Windows

There is something about a stained-glass window on a bright and sunny day.

One morning, I found myself staring at one of the stained-glass windows in the Newman Center chapel during our ministry team’s holy hour, watching the rays of light shine through the individual pieces of multi-colored glass. 

If you take any piece of glass out of the full picture and examine it on its own, there wouldn’t be anything too spectacular about it. It might have a unique color — sometimes vibrant and sometimes not. It might have a unique shape — sometimes with jagged edges and sometimes not. But on its own, while still distinct and beautiful in its own way, it lacks purpose. What is this individual piece of glass made for? Where does it belong?

However, place the glass together with all of the other pieces of glass, and then you have something truly beautiful — something beyond anyone’s own imagination. It becomes a work of art, especially when the light shines through it and illuminates the room with an even brighter array of colors.

So, too, is the Kingdom of God, here on Earth…

We are each beautiful and distinct on our own with our own gifts and talents, our so-called “colors, edges, and shapes.” But we aren’t made to stand alone. We are made to be in community with others, bringing our gifts and talents and blending them together to create a beautiful piece of art. A beautiful stained-glass window. 

Our artwork is brought to completion when we allow God, the light of the world, to shine through us, creating something more beautiful than anything we can ever imagine.

What does your “piece of stained glass” look like? Are you adding it to the full window and allowing the light to shine through it?

You, yes, YOU, are a valuable piece of God’s beautiful stained-glass window; don’t ever forget that.