Friday, March 2, 2012

Slivers of Glass

Glass is sharp. No big surprise, there, huh?  And I have lots of glass in my studio, of course. Like most glass artists, I have more than my share of "Ouch!" stories. Maybe I'll share them sometime, but not today. Today I want to talk about glass slivers, those itsy bitsy shards that fly off when I break the glass.

Breaking glass is an interesting skill. At first, I was terrified to put the needed pressure on the glass and pop the score in my hands. I felt like I was going to cut myself every time. After a while, I got confident enough that I wasn't scared. And now, it seems like I have a sixth sense about how and where the glass will break. It's FUN! But I still make glass slivers when I break glass; I think that's a given. It's also inevitable that I get splinters of glass in my hands. I'm adamant about wearing shoes in my studio, so I don't get them in my feet. I've gotten a couple on my face when I rub my face with my hand (ouch!), but that's about the extent of where I've gotten them...

...until a couple of weeks ago. Unbeknownst to me, I somehow got a small sliver of glass in my calf. It didn't hurt, and I didn't notice it until it became red and raised. It still didn't hurt when I rubbed it (glass usually does), and I thought it was one more of those age-related skin bumps. (If you're under 40, you probably don't know what I mean, but you will.) I noticed it again when I nicked it shaving, and again a couple of days later when my daughter said, "Mom, what's that?"

At that point, I became a little worried and took a closer look. I realized that it was infected and probably was some kind of splinter. I took the glass sliver out and put some antibiotic cream on my calf.

And started thinking about how like my life this was:  Small sins are so easy to ignore, to not even notice them. It's easy to point out the major sins of our (or others') lives; we have no doubts about adultery, burglary, murder... But when it comes to selfishness, egotism, discrimination, etc., it's so easy to minimize. So easy to ignore. So easy to forget about. However, just like that unknown glass shard, these sins fester and eventually bring damage. Damage like broken relationships and unmet dreams.

The biggest damage from our "small" sins is our broken relationship with God. We are ALL sinners and subject to His judgment, and His grace. I can ask Him for forgiveness and help in defeating even those small sins, and build a better relationship with those around me... and with Him.

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