The Glassblower has a studio in the country on a farm where chickens linger lazily on summer afternoons, napping while dreaming of places with fatter bugs, more sunshine and abundant feed. But what these chickens don’t know is that there’s no better place to live. No kinder master. No better sunshine. No fatter bugs. In the chicken world, this is Paradise.

The Glassblower smiles at the chickens. He knows their dreams. He chuckles that they’re dream-clucking for the more they already have. But he’s careful not to let them see him. Chickens are more sensitive than most humans know. It’s not the rooster who rules the roost, as the saying goes. No, it’s feather-fluffed-up pride.

So, the Glassblower simply smiles at them with lovingkindness.

As he walks to his studio, the Glassblower encounters two of his favorite dogs. Always primed to be petted, he gives each one a big hug and plays with them a while. They retrieve the same ball over and over again, expecting a “Good boy!” each time. They’re not disappointed.

Finally, the Glassblower arrives at his studio. It’s both spacious and cozy surrounded by beautiful trees that sing happy melodies carried on the breeze. The big wooden door is already wide open as if it knows that this is a special day. Piled on top of the Glassblower’s workbench are glass fragments of all shapes and sizes. In another life, some were exquisite works of art valued for their beauty. Some were ordinary, hard-working objects. Others were both functional and lovely.

What they all have in common is that each piece is broken. Some have small nicks. Some have cracks the size of small towns. Others are so broken they’re unrecognizable. Only the Glassblower knows what they once were.

And, only the Glassblower knows what they can become.

He pauses a moment and says a little prayer of encouragement to the broken pieces. Softly he speaks to them. “It won’t be easy, but you will be whole again. You won’t be like you were before. You’ll be better. Just trust in me. I love you and I want only what’s best for you.”

The broken pieces tremble. The glass, which rings like music when it’s wet, sings out in sorrow and fear. Again, the Glassblower encourages the broken. Again, he prays for them and whispers, “Don’t give up. Trust in me.”

One at a time, he carries them to the hot furnace, lovingly placing them inside. He turns up the heat as the melting process begins. He melts away the brokenness. The fear. The doubt. Pride is the last to go. Who the piece was created to be does not melt. It changes, but its identity remains the same.

Removing the piece from the hot furnace, only the Glassblower hears the soft sigh, which is really a prayer of thankfulness.

He rolls the glass, molding it carefully. He places the work-in-progress in another furnace. Afterwards, he shapes it more. Smiling, he’s pleased with its progress. Then the Glassblower blows into the piece his very own breath. That’s when it comes alive. That’s when the old, broken pieces becomes a new creation. That’s when transformation begins.

Joy takes up residence in the heart of the beautiful piece of art and everything around the studio stops and holds its collective breath. The wind stops blowing. The trees stop singing. The chickens stop dreaming. The dogs stop chasing. All of creation pauses for a moment, recognizing that the broken has been made beautiful in the Glassblower’s hands.

And the community of once broken pieces are thankful. They know that their beauty comes from him. They know that his touch brought them back to life and gave them new life. Even the chickens are changed. They stop dreaming their dreams and cluck contentedly around the Glassblower’s farm. They still scratch for bugs. Not because they need to, but because it’s a part of who they were created to be.

The once broken pieces live lives of transformational joy and thankfulness, as the dogs chase their tails and the trees sing new songs of hope and love.

The Glassblower smiles, as he lovingly calls to more broken pieces asking them to come home.

Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at kathyyoder4@gmail.com.

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