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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


The Smallest Piece

A fourteenth-century Italian stained-glass artist was summoned to design and create a huge portrait for the window of a cathedral in Chartres, France, a place well known for its stained-glass work. He laid all of the pieces he was going to use on the floor of the cathedral. They were beautiful to behold; most of them were large and colorful. Some of the colors from that time cannot even be produced today. Among these awesome pieces of glass was a small, clear piece about as big as your fingernail. As the stainedglass portrait was assembled, that little piece remained on the floor. Only the big colorful pieces of the glass were used.

On the day of the window's completion, the tiny piece of clear glass was still lying on the ground. A huge crowd gathered to witness the unveiling of the brilliant and beautiful stained-glass portrait that had become the talk of the town as it was being assembled. The artist stood in front of the crowd, made his speech, and dramatically pulled down the cloth cover. The crowd gasped at the beauty of the colorful window glowing in the sunlight.

After a few seconds, however, the crowd began to grow silent. They sensed that something was missing, that the portrait was lacking something. That it just didn't seem quite finished. After a few awkward moments, the great artist realized what had happened. He calmly strolled over to where the little piece of glass lay, picked it up, and placed it in the portrait, right in the center of Jesus' eye. As the sun hit that little piece, it gave off a dazzling sparkle.

The magnificent stained glass window still draws visitors. The first thing they see is the sparkle in Jesus' eye.

Do you ever feel like that little piece of clear glass? Left out. Untalented. Plain. A disappointment. You doubt you can ever do anything for God. Let the story of that last little piece remind you that God thinks of you as the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). No matter that in your eyes you don't measure up to others; you are an important part of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12).

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward