Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 1 Corinthians 1:3-10 (NIV)
When crafting with glass that no matter what you do, some glass will inevitably get broken. It might be kiln temperatures, too slow of a rise in temperature, too fast of a cooling process. Letting it get too hot. Not letting it get hot enough. It could be not properly preparing the kiln. Using it in high humidity or cold weather. Not applying enough kiln wash. Placing the glass in the wrong area of the kiln. Letting it sit too long. Opening the kiln too soon. Or, merely being careless with the glass and dropping it accidentally. I try and try to figure out the cause so it won’t happen again, but mostly, I am just guessing. The teacher who introduced me to glass fusing said a lot of it has to do with “the kiln gods,” which makes me feel a little better about my ignorance when a piece I thought I would dearly love turns up broken. Sometimes, I can put it back in the kiln and fuse it again and fix the piece. I wish relationships were healed so easily. When relationships fracture, the first thing I do is try to figure out what I’ve done wrong. Am I too bossy? Wasn’t I paying enough attention? Was it something I said? Maybe they got tired of me. For whatever reason it happens, when a friend doesn’t return my calls anymore, part of me thinks I’ll just write them off. Who needs the aggravation anyway? Or the opposite effect makes me want very badly to get all huffy and angry, call and give a piece of my mind. Talk ugly about them in our mutual circle of friends. But I just can’t do it. What if it’s not all about me? What if there is hardship involved? Bad stuff happening to them. Lots of losses and frustration. Hurt and wounded, it’s easier to hole up and lick wounds than allow anyone else into their life. I keep all my shards of glass. Some are more broken than others. The plate pictured above is in many pieces where I accidentally dropped it on the concrete. The vase, made of the same glass, appears whole and perfect, but check the spot near its bottom, there’s a hole where it stuck to the mold. It doesn’t look it, but they are both broken. That’s what Paul is writing about here. He reminds us that we have all been given God’s grace. We are all sinners, and no one is better than the other. Even our gifts and talents come from Him. He concludes we are to be at harmony with all. Even those who don’t want to let us in. So, while I take care not to be too pushy, I usually end up finding some way to let my friends know they are missed and still loved. They have to open the door and let me in again, but I want them to know I’m still here when they’re ready.