Beyond the Shattered Glass

We are made for More. There is something within us that knows this, some small part of us that we cannot ignore, however hard we try or little we recognize it. It creeps into our life and our language; it is that niggling discontent, that pang of longing, that bewildering sense of awe when we gaze up at the stars and feel such smallness—and, in knowing the smallness, grasp in some tiny way the largeness that lays beyond us.

And in some ways, it is a fire. A fire that scathes us, burns us, hurts us; it is pain, it is longing; and yet somehow there is joy, the joy of all that Is even though it is beyond us. The blaze is consuming, and by it my heart has been mangled, stripped desolate, laid waste and made new. For no longer can I bear to settle for a life of living for Less—I want to spread Christ’s Kingdom through the streets, among the dusty fields or pristine palaces of further countries.  I want to use the shadow-gifts I have been given, to limn the love of God onto the canvas and the page and into the ears and eyes and hearts of all people. To paint Redemption across the soils of nations, and to sing sanctuary into peoples' souls.

This is Christ’s Kingdom within us, the hope and the longing combined into a burning purpose. We are made for more. We live for more, for something far beyond ourselves. We live for love beyond the offerings of this world, and in the hope of a beauty beyond the broken shadows that surround us. For we exist in a dim reflection, a world made of shattered mirrors that cannot compare to what Really Is—and yet we are so certain, so convinced in our brokenness that we see things clearly, heartbreakingly confident that we know things for what they really are.

But when comes the New, and when all is Remade, the filthy, broken glass will crumble away to nothing, the shadows to Not; and the fog shall be rent as a curtain torn away and we shall see, finally see things for what they are. Beauty we have never dreamed of, the reality of Love finally felt by our bodies made new, the sight and sound and scent and taste and touch of eternal Newness; the murkiness of this shadow-world finally torn away from our eyes and the light of what is True bursting forth into our souls—breaking the dawn of a day that will never, ever end.

But there is more to the restless longing. Because we, through Christ, have been redeemed from the shadows; ransomed from the captivation of the darkness, drawn back into the original purpose of our Creation—back into the More that is God Himself. But Fully More is still a promise, a promise for when Christ returns and we and the world are remade. For now, we remain here, left in the darkness in order to spread the light.

…No, not left. Never abandoned. For though we long, though we ache, we cannot truly want. Wanting exists of emptiness, of absence, of need. We do not exist of emptiness; we exist because we are filled. Christ has filled us, freed us, redeemed us, and, in so doing, fulfilled us: already in Him our souls are made new. In Him we have the strength to endure, the love to survive, the purpose to go on. We have everything we need, and without need, we cannot truly want. But still we long; oh! we long, and we ache, and we break for the beauty of what is, for now, beyond our touch. The loveliness of everything we were created for.

But it is not time. Not time, yet, to see the precious wonders limned by God’s hand far beyond the curtain of our sky; not time, for the Resurrection and the Remaking; not time, for full awareness of everything that Truly Is. God Is. This we know. And until the day when everything changes, knowing this is enough.

And until that day, my soul will sing itself to sleep: "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want..."

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