Stained Glass Saints

James 5:16-18

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

The light beaming into the church I attended this past Sunday was brilliant. The early morning rays shown through the stained glass and burst into every color of the rainbow overhead. The design of that glass was abstract in nature, but I have seen those that were more realistic, depicting scenes of importance from scripture, everything from Moses and Elijah to the crucifixion and the resurrection. And then there are those windows that immortalize the saints. Giants of the faith forever remembered etched in stained glass.

That is a place I never expect to find myself. For all the good I wish to do, for all the desire I have for righteousness, a stained-glass saint I am not. There in the light of those windows, beauty is mixed with sadness knowing just how far I still have to go to achieve what seems forever out of my reach. I'm pretty sure the people who made those windows only meant to venerate the saints not to belittle me but that is still the end result.

Until another light shines. The light of scripture handed down to us by those very saints. This is what it says, "We are like you. You are like us." Elijah who called fire down from heaven, raised the dead, lifted kingdoms high and laid kings low was a man with a nature just like mine.  You, me, Elijah, we are all the same. We are all just people with sinful natures, loved by God, doing the best we can. And who knows, maybe stained glass is in our future, because you never know what affect a life lived for Jesus now will have in a few hundred years.