Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
My sister gave me an early Christmas present. She sent me a check that made it possible for me to do a total makeover on our dining room chandelier. Truth be told, I wasn’t even aware that the chandelier bothered me until she and I got into a discussion about settling for things we could really change.
The chandelier was there when we bought the house 16 years ago. The light was very old. The shades were discolored, the parts were chipped, and the crystals were really made of plastic. However, I decided to keep the chandelier because it was very antique French-looking and I like that style. Over the years though, I learned to compensate for the chandelier in ways I wasn’t even aware of until Nancy and I talked. I kept the lights low while having dinner. I made the focal point the table settings or the table’s centerpiece. Settling and over-compensating had become a way of life.
Nancy is the one who suggested a makeover. I’d never thought of it. Imagine my excitement when I discovered I could strip the chandelier down to the frame and replace all the parts. I was even able to buy a lot of lead crystals for almost no money from a lighting store that posted a small palette of crystals on eBay. So here’s the thing. When stripped bare, the frame turned out to be a real antique and quite stunning. Then, everything I added to it just made it more beautiful. By the time I began to add the crystals, I was almost speechless as I saw my chandelier come to life. The crystals even glistened in the moonlight that shone through the window. It’s the most fun I’ve had creating something in a long time.
The spiritual lessons have been numerous. It made me appreciate the ways God has often stripped my soul bare in order to re-make me in the image of Christ. It made me wonder how many times I’ve attempted to pretty myself up in order to look presentable as a way of overcompensating for my weaknesses. Ultimately though, I’ve been taken with crystals and the beauty of light. I remember that the Gospel is a jewel and that scripture tells me to ‘work out my salvation with fear and trembling.’ The picture in the Greek is to hold a prism up to the light and turn it every way possible to appreciate its many facets. Talk about relevant! The Gospel is stunning and so multi-faceted. I should never think I’ve arrived in appreciating it if I perceive it as simply one-dimensional.
As we gather around our table this Christmas, and as I see the crystals reflect the light of Christmas day, I will silently ponder the ‘Light of the world’ in all of His beauty.
Why would I ever hide You! You are on full display this Christmas. Open the eyes of the blind to behold Your light. Amen