Lessons from A Glass Blower
Lessons from a Glass Blower
Pastor Deborah Lunde
Have you ever watched a skilled glass blower at work?
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Callahan’s Firehouse Studio and Gallery on Whidbey Island. There I saw glass blowers at work! Beginning with a blob of molten glass on the end of a metal blowing rod, they created colorful ornaments, drinking glasses, jewelry, bowls and other exquisite items.
How did they do it? While I can’t describe the finer points of the process, I did observe how one artist created a Texas tumbler. After obtaining the molten glass, he extended the end of the rod horizontally into a very hot furnace. At the right moment, he removed it from the furnace and laid the middle of the rod on metal bar. This allowed him to roll it gently while blowing air into the molten glass to expand it. Then he used tongs to stretch and shape the soft glass, applying pressure to the sides while continuing to roll it. Gradually the tumbler took shape until it had the dimensions that the artist had in mind. At that point, a slight whack separated the tumbler from the rod. Finally, the bottom was heated and the artist’s sign was stamped into the glass.
It was fascinating to watch the artist at work! With a vision for what he wanted to create, he used heat and pressure to shape and stretch the molten glass. Under his watchful eye, something unique, beautiful and useful was created!
This glass-making process reminded me of the work that God does in a person’s life. God oversees our development, even from the beginning, in our mother’s womb. Throughout our lives, he is at work shaping and forming us into something that is unique, one of a kind! As with glass, the process takes time and often includes heat and pressure: challenges and difficulties. And, just as there are imperfections and flaws in any handmade piece of glass, our lives carry wounds as a result of sin. Thankfully, we can trust the creator’s loving hands to make us into something that is not only useful, but beautiful, as the light of his love shines through us when we are stamped with his name!
Check out these three Scripture passages, which describe God’s creative work:
13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6