Summer vacation ended — as did the visit with Grandma and Grandpa — and Johnny and Mary went back home to their parents.


Editor's Note: This column concludes the story of Mary, Johnny and the broken glass statue, which appeared in the June 15 and June 8 editions.



Summer vacation ended — as did the visit with Grandma and Grandpa — and Johnny and Mary went back home to their parents.



Soon, school resumed and classes were in full swing. The incident of breaking Grandma’s favorite delicate glass statue was long forgiven and forgotten.



Eventually came Thanksgiving, Johnny’s favorite time of year — that meant another visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Johnny always looked forward to the celebration. A delicious dinner was usually followed by a visit to the park and throwing a football with Dad and Grandpa.



However, as the family approached the grandparents’ house, the child felt nervous. He recalled the glass statue incident, and the memory still haunted him.



The statue could never be repaired to its original splendor, which saddened Johnny. Grandma had said it was okay, that it was an accident, but that beautiful work of art was lost forever.



Before long, Johnny and his family arrived at their destination. The aromas of roasting turkey, mashed potatoes, different vegetables, pumpkin pie and apple pie made his mouth water and his stomach grumble.



After hugs and kisses, Johnny walked into the dining room. A glass sculpture on the table caught his eye. It sparkled like a thousand diamonds.



If he looked at it one way, it appeared like the sun rising above the horizon. If he looked at it another way, it appeared like snow-covered mountains with ice reflecting the sun’s sparkling rays. And if he squinted, it looked like a rainbow.



He turned and saw Grandma watching him. Breathlessly, he said to her, “Grandma! This is beautiful! Where did you find this?”



With a smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eye, she said, “Johnny, I know you don’t recognize it, but this little statue has been made up of all the pieces of the little bird in the nest that got broken this past summer. I took the pieces to a friend of mine who works with glass. This is what he did with them.”



Life sometimes throws difficult curves. Dreams we once held can be shattered. Yet, with our Lord’s loving presence and power, those broken pieces can be molded and reshaped into something unexpectedly beautiful.



Jesus can — and will — pick up the broken pieces and put them back together in a new and beautiful way.



The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.