We lived here for over nine years without a single piece of glass in any of our windows. When my mother died, she left me enough to put sliding glass windows all around the house. It was great because the sun came in but the rain and wind-driven dust didn’t. One of the things we hadn’t counted on was the reflective quality of glass. Bird after bird has crashed into our windows thinking they were meeting another bird that was just their own reflection. Sometimes, that’s all we want to see—our own reflection.
A piece of glass, while transparent, is also very reflective. If you’re holding a piece of glass in front of you (outdoors on a sunny day) you can tilt the glass until someone looking at you can no longer see you – only the reflected light of the sun. Almost every one of us, at some time or another, has been behind a car when the sun was reflecting off the back window, blinding us. Yet if the light is coming from a different angle, we can see inside of the car. This is where Jesus comes in. He tells us to let our light so shine before others that they see the glory of God – not us. In other words, if we are living as Christians, we are using our glass to reflect God’s glory and not our own. If we are not so anxious about getting the credit for what we do – then it’s God who gets the glory—and little birds don’t crash into our glass.
I am still guilty of occasionally doing good things and then crowing about then. This is wrong. I am working on it, but I did so many bad things for so many years that doing good things isn’t natural to me yet. You can see that I am not yet holding my piece of glass so that only the light of the Son is reflected all the time. However, I am aware that I am holding a piece of glass, and I am tilting it – I just don’t have the angle quite right yet.
When we are what Christ wants us to be, we eagerly tilt the glass because we want God to have the glory. That’s what we’re really supposed to be about as Christians anyway. We should be about glorifying God and edifying the church. We give God the glory as we build up the people of God, but we cannot do this if we want others to see what we are doing so that we get the credit. We all know someone who reflects only the glory of God, so we know it can be done. I have met people from all over the world who do just that, and I want to be like them. I think we all really do. We just have to tilt our glass a little more.
And while I am still not sure if I completely understand why I can see through the glass, I completely understand how to use it to reflect the glory of God. So do you. We need to heed that athletic footwear commercial: “Just do it.”