Posted by: Mad Lamb | 11/01/2015

Living Inside out

Last year I visited a number of church buildings that had stain glass windows. Each time I was struck by the vivid stories told by the brightly coloured panels, usually of people serving in situations of adversity. Often they were tales of people living out their faith by relying on God’s faithfulness to them.

MagCthX3

Unlike the single panel I have used as my blog’s banner, these beautiful and artistic tableaux can only be seen in all their grandeur from the inside. They are illuminated by the light that shines from outside.

I find it such a shame, that those who remain outside the building cannot see the true glory of these windows. From outside they just looked like blackened unconnected fragments and the church, or cathedral, looks cold and uninviting to those unaware of what can be enjoyed within.

BriminghamCathedral (from web)

These visits left me with two thoughts:

  • Firstly, how can we persuade more people to come into these buildings and see for themselves what is on offer. Not just the visual tinted treats, but the goodness of God that feeds his people to serve him in many ways and helps them in their real and daily struggles of life.
  • Secondly, perhaps in order to do that, we need to find a way to turn the church inside out, so that the light we have received from God, for our benefit, will shine through the windows to show the building, and faith within, is not dead but a beacon for all who seek more from life than the daily grind. The stories they would see are not just ones of glass cased in metal frames but those of everyday people serving God, despite their own problems and feelings of inadequacy.

In these reflections, I recognise that I have been living too much within the walls, where the faith that strengthens and fulfils me seems encased from my everyday interactions and I am not letting the love, grace and mercy shine out to those around me. So, for my belated New Year’s resolutions, I seek to live inside out and share the benefits I receive from knowing the everlasting, faithful and loving God, so others may seek Him for themselves.

So if you think I’m looking a bit blackened and uninviting, please remind me to shine and share some of the kaleidoscopic experiences that have sustained me throughout my life and the rainbows of hope I have for the future.

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