This is a guest post by Tedd Cadd. He shared this with me several weeks ago, and I knew that his words would really, truly bless my readers. So soak in this amazing, sweet truth.
I recently read this in The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brené Brown:
There is a line from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” that serves as a reminder to me when I get into that place where I am trying to control everything and make it perfect.
The line is, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
So many of us run around spackling all the cracks, trying to make everything look just right. This line helps me remember the beauty of the cracks…
It reminds me that our imperfections are not inadequacies, they are reminders that we’re all in this together. Imperfectly but together.
As I read that, I was reminded of lighthouses. Each lighthouse has a different light pattern and different paint and different design. Each lighthouse protects ships from dangers unique to its specific position. Should the lighthouse want to mimic another light, it puts the ships in its vicinity in danger. So the ships looking for a safe harbor need to see the real light pattern—not the made up one.
Each person’s story will touch lives but only when the story is told authentically.
We don’t find Jesus because of the parts of our lives that are whole. We find him (or, perhaps, he finds us) because of the cracks.
So the Light comes in—if the crack is bigger, even more light gets in. If we buy into the lie that all is made perfect when he comes in—and if we then start patching up the cracks—then others only see the lie and begin patching their cracks.
If I patch up my cracks and you patch yours, we will never find each other. We remain in darkness.
Like the lighthouses, my cracks and another’s are different but there are some similarities. When I tell you I was sexually abused as a child, you already know some things about me that I haven’t said. But our stories are also unique. And each story needs to be heard.
When I finally got so very weary of patching my cracks—especially the big ones—I gave up. “Whatever you want to do, God, is fine with me.”
I expected him to remove my pathetic spackling jobs and I wasn’t disappointed. I was unprepared for the pain he had to inflict to remove the debris.
But instead of bringing a big bucket of Holy Spackle, he began framing each crack for a window. The most painful of all, he is taking all the broken pieces of my childhood–my life, one by one, and fashioning them into works of stained glass art, each window custom fit to a crack.
We are surrounded with darkness in a world run by the Prince of Darkness. If the Light has come in and if we refuse to board up our stained-glass cracks, others can see the beauty of our cracks—each drawn most desperately—violently even—to the colors in in cracks they share with us. That is where hope begins.
If we insist on patching, we are boarding up a cathedral.
How about you? How has God framed your pain to make a stained glass window?