Once upon a time, in a small village tucked into a valley between snow capped mountains, there stood a tiny little church. It stood on a small hill just outside the center of the village. For centuries, the little church would ring its bell to call the villagers to worship each week.
It would open its hand carved wooden doors and welcome the worshipers as they came to listen to the beautiful music and hear the fiery message from the pastor. At the front of the church, where everyone sitting in a pew could see, the most beautiful, grand stained glass window shown down on the worshiping villagers. The morning sunlight would filter through each pane of glass and throw a kaleidoscope of colors across the room. No matter the weather outside, it seemed there was always enough sunlight to make the window come to life with brilliant colors.
In the back of the little church, there was another window. It wasn’t as large or grand as the one in the front that shown so brightly right behind the pastor. It was smaller and because the little church was built for the sun to reflect its morning light through the larger window, it seemed that the little window never had a chance to show off its own beautiful and carefully crafted colors.
Over the years, the little window began to wonder why he was ever made. He didn’t have the same brilliant colors as the big window. In fact, he didn’t think his colors were very beautiful at all. One day, a small sad woman climbed up the steps to the little church. She was dressed in black with a dark grey shawl wrapped tightly around her hunched shoulders. Her head was down and she seemed to be crying.
She came into the little church and sat in the very last pew. She looked up at the giant, beautiful window and only seemed to cry more. She bowed her head and prayed, “Lord, I feel so small and lost right now. My husband and only son have both been killed and I’m all alone. Please remind me that you are still here. Let me see your beauty in the darkness of my life right now. Amen.”
Just then, the sun shifted higher in the sky and was no longer shining through the big beautiful window. Its light just seemed to go out. The widow sighed and gathered her shawl around her shoulders again and turned to leave. As she headed towards the door at the back of the church, the setting sun started to shine through the little stained glass window. Because of the different light of the sun, the colors in the little window were even more deep and rich than the big window up front.
The woman stopped and just stared at the little window. All these years, no one had ever noticed the window. No one ever saw the beauty that the setting sun made as it danced through the colored panels of glass. As the woman stood there, the little window shone its colors down on her tear streaked face. The soft reds and blues made little circles around her and seemed to wrap its colors around her slumped little shoulders.
Suddenly, the picture in the window came into full view. It was a picture of Jesus blessing the little children. His arms were full as He carried one child and placed His hand lovingly on the head of another. He seemed to look down on the woman with such compassion. She could see the love in His eyes. She could almost hear him say,
I love you. I’m the Good Shepherd who loves and takes care of the lost. I give hope to the hopeless and care for the widows and orphans. Even in the dark, I’ve been here waiting for you. And just like I promised, I’ll be here for you always; even to the end of time.
The little window realized the creator had made him with a different purpose in mind. The little window thought he needed to be big and shiny for everyone to see and notice his beautiful workmanship. But it wasn’t about him showing off his brilliant colors. He was tasked with the most important job of all. He was created to remind those that are hurt and broken that there is a Savior who loves them. All these years He’s been watching over every single villager as they come in and as they leave the little church on the hill. And He can be seen best when the brightness of the day turns into the soft lights of sunset.