A very wise Lamp Designer and Sign Maker owned a shop called ‘Therapeutic Lighting.’ The shelves were lined with precious, but very fragile lamps that He formed and fashioned with His own hands. After the making of each lamp was completed, He put a bright shining bulb in it and added it to His fine collection. The cost of each lamp was surprisingly little; all the Designer asked in return for a lamp was that customers trade in their garbage.
On each shelf was a small sign that read: “Depending upon the color of glass, each of My lamps puts off a different type of light:
White -- Purity
Yellow -- Joy
Green -- Peace
Purple -- Wisdom
Blue -- Insight
Pink -- Compassion
Orange -- Patience
Silver -- Faith
Gold -- Kindness”
And then, in very bold letters, the sign read: “BEFORE YOUR FINAL PURCHASE, YOU MUST SIGN A CONTRACT WITH ME.” That contract stated that if anyone purchased a lamp from Him and it wound up broken for any reason, they would agree to bring that lamp back and get a replacement lamp free of charge. Of course, the Designer sold many lamps and, because of the fragile nature of the glass He used, many lamps were returned to Him. Nobody really understood why He would draw up such a contract, but it was an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Deep in the heart of His shop, in a secret room that was set apart from His regular working area, the Designer kept all of the shattered pieces of lamps that were returned to Him. He made a paste from bronze powder (strength), His own scarlet blood (healing), and the clear liquid of His tears (anointing). With that paste, He fit together pieces of every color to create a strong seam between each tiny piece of broken glass. When He placed the bulbs in the new lamps, not only did the light shine in a kaleidoscope of every therapeutic color, but it also shone brilliantly through every seam. These special lamps put out more light than any colored lamp because of those seams.
He tested each lamp for endurance by letting them freefall to the floor. If they broke, He’d apply thicker paste to the weak areas. When each of the new lamps were completed, the owner of the original lamp was gifted with an unbreakable work of art. But because the Designer spent so much time and heartfelt energy on the new lamps, He placed a very high value on them and He made the owner sign a new contract: “I understand that if I do damage, or knowingly allow another to do damage to this lamp, the Lamp Designer will take the bulb from the lamp and it will never shine again.”
I can tell you this story today because I am the very proud owner of one of those multi-colored lamps. The Designer put a very special kind of bulb in my lamp. It never burns out! In fact, as time goes by, it burns brighter. Have you been to ‘Therapeutic Lighting’? Oh, but you should go! It’s easy enough to find. But don’t follow the signs! Follow the Sign-Maker -- the same Sign-Maker who designs special lamps and has a gloriously lit sign hanging on the door of His shop. It reads: “Therapeutic Lighting -- Let Your Light So Shine Before Men.”
Note from the author: In case you are having trouble figuring out how this story fits into the topic of leadership -- It is a well known fact, or at least it should be, that any good leader must experience a certain amount of brokenness and that it takes time and special care to become prepared for leadership.
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