Or, Lessons from Shattered Windows
Imagine seeing a familiar picture in stained glass, and the comfort of regularly seeing it; devoter, doubter, demonized, divine, wherever your spirit has taken you...and then, in war, hate, anger, strife, everything you own is demolished, and when you come back to that picture you remembered, you find it shattered.
You sift through the broken pieces, searching for anything recognizable. A face, a piece of cloak, the sky, a dove. It’s only a fraction, but you hold onto your find....
How do you fix a glass you can’t replace? How do you fix a person’s shattered self?
In St. Peter’s Church Mancroft, UK, their broken pieces were big enough that they could improvise, and in the improvisation, new associations were made...like using the face of an angel to replace Mary’s...
This happened in Winchester in the 1500’s when the bomb of Cromwell’s asceticism destroyed its Cathedral windows through the Roundheads. The shards were preserved by the people who cherished them.
They took all that brokenness, and instead of making a poor remake of the original, they made a beautiful mosaic. Here and there, a face, a piece of clothing, a piece of sky, refers to an original long lost, but was later renewed to use its colours to play with the light shining through.
May this be true about you and about me.