Today I broke a glass.
It wasn’t just any old glass though. For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I have a little henna and henna product business called Beyond Henna. I’d been working hard on a customer order for a lady all the way in Qatar; she’d asked for four glass bowls and two wine glasses to be adorned with henna designs for one of her upcoming wedding functions. On the two glasses she wanted her own and husband-to-be’s names incorporated, so I was like “fine, not a problem!” and got to work.
I’d finished working with the glass bowls, having decorated them with golden glass paint and an array of multi-coloured crystal gems and so, it came to making the glasses. Now, this was my first time working with glass paint and I found working on a curved edge, like that of the wine glass, to be quite a challenge, especially as I had to incorporate the names. There I was, working away on the first of the two glasses, and for some reason my design seemed to be turning out surprisingly well so I put the glass down on the table in front of me and sat back to take a look at my handiwork.
Don’t even ask how it happened; one second I was looking at the glass that I’d worked hard on and was actually kind of proud of, the next second it had rolled on to my lap – golden paint everywhere – and all of a sudden there was a loud smash, and the glass lay scattered all over the floor, in hundreds of diamond-like pieces.
Hard work, expensive glass paint and crystal gems all smashed to smithereens and gone forever, in a matter of seconds.
Was I gutted? Maybe for a moment, but then I got to thinking.
This broken glass that once was whole and beautiful now lay in hundreds of tiny pieces on the laminated flooring, and this created the perfect analogy for life. We spend so much time, energy and effort into creating and attaining things; whether it is the perfect family, a thriving business, the ideal house, new pair of shoes, a beautiful appearance, the best BFF’s the world could find… But any of these things, or even all of them at once, could be taken away from us in a matter of moments.
We become so easily attached to things in this world; we become so easily attached to this world that we don’t even realise it’s happened – until without warning, one day it is taken away from us. This world, this life, is just a moment in our forever-lasting journey so how did the physical things of this life become so important?
We need to remember that everything that is given to us in this world, everything, is lent to us by the One, Lord of the Heavens and Lord of the earth. He gives us things in this life to better us as people; to teach us to love every blessing he bestows upon us only for the sake of Him. Our families, our wealth, our health, our bodies, our beauty, our possessions: they are all, every one of them, from Him. Whatever is meant to be for you in this world, will not pass you by and whatever is not – well, it will.
What happens when somebody lends you something? They eventually want it back – and this is exactly what happens in life. Sometimes we curse and we scream with our hands raised to the sky, ‘Why? WHY?’, when something we have put our hearts and souls into doesn’t work out, runs away from us or is taken from us; but what we need to remember is, it was never truly ours in the first place.
Love for the right reasons. Love for the sake of Allah and you’ll find rather than losing things; rather than things not working out; rather than people leaving us and people hurting us… – rather than all of that, we are only ever gaining as every ‘loss’ that occurs in life is just a reminder that everything comes from Him and everything returns to Him: nothing here lasts. We’re all heading Home one day, so let’s not forget.
After all that, I bent to pick up the broken glass pieces off the floor, and looking at them glinting spectacularly in the sunlight I thought “Wow, they are so beautiful…”. I hope, for me and for all of us, that we never fail to find the beauty in the pieces of our broken glasses lying in millions of shattered pieces, all over the floor.