God uses broken people. Man values perfection but God accepts imperfection, because He is a God of restoration. This point was brought home to me when I read the following old Jewish legend about Creation. Hear God’s call to you and see His Glory in Rabbi Wayne D. Dosick’s retelling of this beautiful story.
IN THE BEGINNING
An old Jewish legend:
In the beginning—before the beginning—God’s light filled the entire universe.
When God decided to create the world, He had to withdraw some of His light from the universe, so that there would be space for the land and the seas, the trees and the corn stalks, the butterflies and the lions, the ladybugs and the sea otters.
So God breathed in some of the Divine light, so that there would be room for all the things He wanted to create.
But what was God to do with the light—with the light of His Being that had filled the whole universe—now that He had breathed it in?
God put the light into jars, heavenly vessels that would hold His radiance.
And then God began to create: the sky and the earth, the dry lands and the waters, the fiery sun, the shimmering moon and the twinkling stars, the forests and the deserts, the creepy crawly things and the birds of the air, the fish of the seas and the animals roaming from here to there.
Everything was going so well. Creation was shaping up just perfectly. God was having a wonderful time!
But in the heavens, there was trouble.
God’s light, which He had put into the vessels, could not be hidden away. For no vessel—not even a heavenly vessel—could contain the radiant light of God. The glory of God’s splendor was accustomed to filling the universe, not being hidden away in little jars.
So it wasn’t too long until—with a blazing flash—God’s light burst out of the heavenly vessels.
The force of the mighty impact caused the jars to shatter into millions of little pieces.
And the light itself splintered into billions of little sparks.
The broken pieces of the vessels fell to the newly formed earth and became the ills and the evils that beset the world—little pieces of anguish and travail that, one day, will have to be collected, repaired, and made whole again.
And what happened to the billions of little shards of light?
Each of the little shards of light, the sparks of God, became the soul of a human being.
That which makes the lump of clay that is a human body into a living, breathing, person—a person capable of thinking and knowing, reasoning, and remembering, a person capable of doing justly and feeling compassion—is the soul. And the human soul is a tiny piece of God, a tiny fragment of God’s light, a spark of the Divine that burst forth from the heavenly vessels and showered the universe.
God declared that the crowning works of creation were these human souls— man and woman, created in His image, created with a spark of His Divine Being. And to man and woman, God assigned a divine task and a sacred mission.
Each person, then and now, is to joyfully share the universe with God, to be His companion and helpmate, His resident caretaker and earthly steward.
And each person, then and now, is to be a partner with God in healing and transforming the universe: picking up the little pieces of the shattered vessels, repairing them, and making them—and the world—healthy and whole.(1)
The first time that I read Rabbi Dosick’s beautiful story of Creation I was touched. Although this story is just a legend, as I put it into context with the truth of Scripture, my heart began to burn and I saw a glimpse of Glory. I had never considered that a human soul could be a “a tiny piece of God… a spark of the Divine that burst forth from the heavenly vessels and showered the universe.”
This story is the same story that Jesus preached. Can you hear Jesus’ teaching in the phrase “each person, then and now, is to be a partner with God in healing and transforming the universe: picking up the little pieces of the shattered vessels, repairing them, and making them—and the world—healthy and whole?” When you stop and think about it, this story is a beautiful illustration of the origin and purpose of humanity.
As I have desired to follow Christ the past twenty-two years I have learned that God is the author of life and light. The Scriptures teach us that God’s Glory brings forth a holy light that cuts through the darkness and reveals truth. Man chose darkness over light in the Garden of Eden, but praise be to God that He did not leave us lost, cold and lonely apart from Him. Like a lion looking for his lost cubs, God’s voice roars through the darkness. His Glorious, unapproachable light flashes like lightning as He goes forth to swallow up the darkness to reclaim what rightfully belongs to Him. Light calls forth to light. Truth calls forth to truth. Life calls forth to life. Glory calls forth to glory.
God was so passionate about reclaiming the “sparks” of His Glory that He became a man and lived a sinless life to show us what true Glory looks like in the flesh. Jesus came to pay the ultimate price for our disobedience. He came to gather the “sparks” of God’s Glory through His obedience on the Cross. The “sparks of glory” that Jesus came to reclaim are human souls. Jesus calls us to follow Him back home to the Father to return the deposit of glory to the rightful Owner of all Glory and to bring all of Creation back to the original state of perfection. Our Glory is His.
(1) Dosick, W.D. Living Judaism: The Complete Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition, and Practice (New York: Harper Collins e-books, 2007) p.2.
Taken from Our Glory Is His