November 26, 2008

The Kaleidoscope

2008 1533 page31 capHE TUBULAR OBJECT RATTLED SLIGHTLY AS MY FINGERS WRAPPED around it. Even with my eyes held tightly closed I knew what it was—a kaleidoscope!
I had always wanted a kaleidoscope, and now here it was, thoughtfully given to me as a gift. I opened my eyes and smiled as I looked at it. I was overwhelmed by a strange sense of contentment.
I couldn’t resist turning it up to the light. I squinted my left eye and peered through with the right. With the slightest turn of my hand, vivid stained-glass colors fell into symmetrical form like tin soldiers.
2008 1533 page31My mind wandered as the shifting scenes reminded me of how my life had taken so many turns. Like the kaleidoscope palette, each circumstance had brought a new presentation of shapes and colors to deal with—some sharp and painful, others soft and pleasant. I’ve learned many things through each changing scene, and, ultimately, I’ve come to know that change is inevitable.
But what is a kaleidoscope without light? In life, love is the light. No matter what befalls you, with love you always land on your feet. That’s why it’s so important for us to know God, because God is love and He is the only one we can truly trust. His eye is on us constantly, and we can rely on Him to turn difficult life events into something beautiful.
If I had been given this kaleidoscope when I was a child, I might have discarded it after a few quick turns, perhaps never to pick it up again. Today, as an adult, I feel privileged to hold what my child heart longed for. It elicits such great contemplation.
Who inspired its creation? I wonder. I look into it again, and I see first a universe, then a lush garden, and next a chapel’s stained-glass window—all gently created with the turn of my hand. As children we prod with fingers and peek into everything. It’s our way of learning about our world. A kaleidoscope gives you the chance to do both. I’m grateful for this gift and for the giver who somehow knew me well enough to know how much I’d cherish and appreciate receiving this dash of rainbow and visual excitement that I now hold securely in my hand.
Scripture tells us: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).* God is the ultimate giver. He knows what we are made of and what each of us most desires. He can be counted on to care for us in every difficult life experience, and He longs to give us more than we could possibly imagine. Like a kaleidoscope, with a gentle turn of His hand or the faint whisper of His voice He changes our dark moments into glorious and dazzling light as we see the fullness of His forgiveness and eternal love. 

*Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Cathy Ireland is a published writer and professional speaker living in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.