40 ways 40 days #3.2: Shine

#3 Shine! 5:16 (10.32)


‘Live your lives openly, reflecting God brightly…

Misshaped Lives

Currently I am completing a Mosaics course with Pastor Enes at Moreland. As a beginner I’m faced with the challenge of cutting glass. My aim is to cut nice, symmetrical, acute angled pieces. Often I fail. When my misshaped pieces appear the question arises, do I reject and start over, or just go with what I’ve got and see what happens. Well in the end I trusted the creative process, and when the pieces were put together they formed a crazy pavement design that held its own appeal. This was a surprise!

Last week a friend quietly told me about their own character flaw. Generally it was something they wanted to hide. Just like the rest of us we don’t really want our weaknesses on show. On reflection though, I think our flaws are something to celebrate! As those called to care for others, what really counts is how authentic we are with each other. It’s about being true to ourselves and our vulnerabilities and weaknesses and letting others in. It’s when others find that we know something about the struggles and turmoils of life, some sort of identification can occur and some real connections can be made. We are human and, to me, beautiful. We are odd, rough at the edges and often don’t nicely fit in.

Matthew’s community was made up of people whose lives were not perfect. People on the edges of society: the sick and disabled relying on the mercy of others; destitute widows; slaves under the control of others; Jewish Christians banished from the synagogue, struggling with their identity; and women who were silenced and sidelined in their own societies. However together they were a community, born by the love of God and the love for each other.

We are misshaped and belong to our own faith communities. Together, in all our oddness, may we reach out to one another and, like the mosaic, suddenly become, as a community, something beautiful to behold.


Go somewhere quiet. Is there something or someone bothering you? In the end is it really about you?

Does it all get down to something about yourself that you can’t fix? For example: Impatience, Deep Disappointment, Unrealistic Expectations.

Is it possible to learn from these ‘flaws’, to accept that we can’t be perfect and to accept them, and maybe just maybe……to be thankful?

– Tim Hoffmann


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