The stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia Basilica have changed my life. God spoke to me through the sun that streamed in, making the glass images ravishing in the glory of sunlight. A stained glass window is made up of broken pieces, each with one or two colors that make up a large and marvelous image or design. When one gazes at the stained glass windows, they see the overall picture, not the individual pieces because it is the image as a whole the architect wanted his audience to see. The architect desires people to see the wholeness in the windows instead of the broken glass in which the image is created. However, Gaudi, the architect of the Sagrada Familia, didn’t intend for his stained glass windows to be solely about the image. He wanted to use light as part of his architecture and so his windows are massive, starting at the bottom of the cathedral almost reaching the high ceiling. I toured this Basilica at noon when the sun is at its brightest. When the sun shone through the windows on that beautiful Monday afternoon, I truly wanted to weep. The sun set the colors on fire making them radiate and project their colorful light throughout the Basilica. It was the light flooding the church illuminating the images and projecting color inside the cathedral that made my heart pace quicken and my eyes teary. It was one of the most beautiful and entrancing experiences I have ever witnessed. Then the Lord spoke to me telling me that I was once a broken piece, but now I am made whole by being a valuable part of a beautiful image illuminated by the light of Christ. He told me to silence the striving within my soul because it is not about being the beauty of the world, but beatifying the world and his kingdom. It is about reflecting his sunlight to guide those who are lost.
“May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut to beautify a palace” Psalm 144: 12
It isn’t about me. It isn’t about me receiving glory-but pointing to his. It is about participating in my role to reflect the beauty and light of Christ that God cut and shaped my glass piece for. It is about accepting my own brokenness and being made whole by his grace because that exposes darkness, thus making it light.
“But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light” Ephesians 5: 13
God told me to be the light of the world because, like the stained glass windows are on a wall that is in the basilica and also outside, we are with God and in the world. Therefore, like stained glass reflects the sunlight into a church, I want to reflect the light of Christ into the hearts of unbelievers and invite them to be a part of a beautiful image and role of reflecting his radiating light.
God told me to to rest at his feet, accept his grace and let him deliver me from my shame. When our shame is cleared away, there is more room for his light to flow through our hearts and reach the darkness of the world.
“Those who look to him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:5
He taught me through sunlight and the marvelous stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia. What a magnificent way to learn.