Windows for my soul

blogIMG_2416I love windows.  I love to look out of them.  As I’ve shared before, opening the blinds and looking out the window is one of the first things I do every morning when I awaken.  I love it when light streams in a window and when a cool, refreshing breeze blows through an open one.

Windows provide the sensation of space, light and airiness that makes a room less claustrophobic.  Yes, I love windows!  And I’m happy that I have so many in our country home.

So ever since I read that this week’s photo challenge was “windows,” I’ve been inundated with thoughts about why I enjoy windows so very much.  I’ve taken a number of window pictures which are stored in my photo cache, but this challenge necessitated a trip down my country road today.

Because I knew exactly which windows I wanted to capture for this challenge.

Almost every Sunday, I take my seat next to my husband in a simple wooden pew at my local country church.  This isn’t just any church, it is my family church.  Way back in the 1800’s, my great-great grandparents were two of the eight founding members and they donated the land for the church to be built upon.

blogIMG_2444So not only is this church special because it’s where I choose to honor, praise, and serve God, it’s special because my family has worshipped in this place for 184 years.  It’s a simple place really.  It’s not made of stone or brick and the design is not significant architecture.  But there is something about my church that gives it exquisite beauty – its stained glass windows.

Every Sunday while our congregation sings praises to our Lord and hears a message from our pastor, I gaze at those stained glass windows that are featured on every outside wall of the sanctuary.  When sunlight streams through them, those windows actually seem to glow and I’m drawn to them and the messages that are depicted within them.  There is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  There is the Bible, God’s Holy Word and the Ten Commandments.  And there is the lamb reminding me that Christ is the sacrificial Lamb of God.

From the outside looking in, the windows don’t look that spectacular.  They look muted and dull as the day was today when I photographed them in spitting snow, cold wind, and overcast skies.

But oh, from the inside!  What a different story.  As I entered the sanctuary, the windows’ beauty in the dimmed light really seemed breathtaking.  It was as if there was an inner light somewhere shining through the panes of colored glass and intricate designs.

There’s an old saying that the eyes are the windows to our souls.  And that reminds me of scripture: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”  Matthew 6:22-23

blogIMG_2434Folks may look at my outside and not be impressed.  On the outside I’m not beautiful or stunning.  I may appear as dull and plain as my church windows seem on the outside.  But what do I want people to see when they look into my eyes – the windows into my soul?  I want them to see the Light of the World – Jesus in me.  I want my window eyes to be filled with light and color and the radiating beauty of a Savior, just like those stained glass windows adorning the inside of my church.

Because truly what is important to me is not what’s on the outside of the window, it’s what can be seen on the inside.

“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  ~  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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10 responses

  1. How neat that your family were the seeds to this congregation!! What a neat and amazing heritage. 🙂 I like looking at you from the inside out – it’s pretty in there.

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  2. So beautiful: your thoughts and the photos of those windows that are so special to you. Loved reading about your family’s connection to that little church.
    And, like you, opening the curtains is one of the very first things I do every morning!

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  3. When I think of stained glass windows I remember some remarkable ones. You may want to go to google images to view the stained glass that dominates La Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, down the street from Notre Dame.

    Lovely post, Cindy. Your church’s small sanctuary and its windows provide such a nice covered cloister for prayers, thoughts and reflections. Beautiful photos.

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    • Yes, I have seen photos of that beautiful stained glass and I’ve seen so many lovely churches with windows such as these. But, that aren’t that many church buildings that have stained glass windows any more. Our church has 25 I believe. The photo I shared only showed one area of our sanctuary so it’s actually much larger than that. Thanks, Georgette.

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    • Thank you, D. It sure is. Both of my parents grew up in this church and both sets of grandparents were members. All, including my great-greats who helped found the church, are buried in the church cemetery. The heritage does make it a very special place for me.

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