The air breathes cool through the open window, wafts past the “clean cotton” Yankee Candle votive that releases just a hint of fragrance. The shrub sways in time with the bell rope, and a hummingbird buzzes at the feeder, hovers in place, sips and savors. A wasp with legs dangling wants in the garage and seeks entrance at the cracks of the closed door. Wee crabapples snuggle deep in branches, and I wonder if the waxwings will return. And will I see them if they do.
I’ve pulled out paints and pencils and art paper and ribbons and hot glue guns for Grace. She’s working at the white enamel Hoosier table in the kitchen with an ear tuned to the TV—Power Rangers, who use their gifts to save the world from evil.
She’s disgusted with her work. “I messed up big time. You can tell a kid drew this.”
I remind her that she seethes with creativity and that the great artists, like Leonardo Da Vinci, made great mistakes, and they worked with them, morphed them into art. I remind her she’s got her Father’s genes so she’s got the power to create beauty out of the mess and that we adults are often told to become kids to rediscover our own inner artist.
But this whole sin-stained canvas is a mess, and we muddle as best we can through the mud looking for beauty and truth in a world gone awry, in this place polluted with pain.
Life litters ugly, and hearts hurt, and suffering stabs deep with fractured families and AIDS and cancer and rape and war and murder and death and losses as numerous as grains of sand.
And sometimes truth towers tall, but sometimes it masks muddy, and flawed souls sift flawed evidence from flawed souls. They render judgments, and some walk free while some do not. And maybe our faith slides like a sand castle on the beach.
I change the station. A news anchor tells how dune sand swallowed someone’s son near Lake Michigan. He remained buried for three hours before rescuers resurrected him. And miracles still happen, and hope still lives, and beauty reigns.
Death tried to swallow Jesus, but it couldn’t hold Him. And His Father resurrected him three days later. And this sphere, I know, does not spin crazy out of control, but He confines it by love and saturates it with grace. And one day He’ll sift all hearts and render perfect judgment. He’ll make everything new, and there will be no more pain and no more tears and no more death.
And the earth will explode with glory.
Grace shows me her picture. She’s painted and glued bits of “litter” to it, and she’s named it “Trash into Beauty.” She’s signed it, “My Masterpiece by G.E. King.”
I’m sitting on the porch now. Leaves shimmer in the light. A long seed pod seems to sprout right out of stretch-marked bark of the tree next to me. The primroses have burst their boundary and planted themselves in the gravel drive. Crows (I think) carry on something crazy in the woods across the road, and a dragonfly suns itself on the railing.
The world, I muse, is still wild with wonder and wide enough to swallow the ugly if we’re still enough to see. And life’s littered with hurt, but beauty trumps trash, and there’s a fragrance of redemption in the air.
How do you cope with the ugly of life?
yes. Yes. YES!!
This is beautiful, Sandy. “flawed souls sift flawed evidence from flawed souls.” Isn’t that so very true. But His sifting, brings true beauty. (and here again, beauty hurts, but it is worth the pain)
Flawed us in this fallen world on the journey together… One day all the pain will be worth it… or forgotten. 🙂
Beautifully told, Sandy. That Grace girl sure has a gift in having a grandma like you. xoxox
She sure opens my eyes. 🙂
Beauty trumps trash. Here’s to the gutsy courage it takes to live there and continue to bring forth beauty in spite of it all.
Gutsy courage. Yes.
How do I cope? Much like you do, Sandra. I look for the beauty of God’s creation instead of focusing on the trash in this world. So glad Grace was encouraged to redeem her art work. 🙂
To sniff the sweet and see the light in the midst of the trash heap–it takes a lot of practice.
“And the earth will explode with glory.” I wait with hope and trust that this day will come and if I am not on earth to see it I will be watching from heaven. Beautiful post! Love, Rachael (linking after you at Jennifer’s)
There are days I hope that this is the day and how sure I am that I don’t want to miss it. But thanks, Rachael, for the reminder that I won’t–whether I’m here or there.
I love the “fragrance of redemption” in your words, and Grace naming her masterpiece, “Trash into Beauty,” for she follows in the steps of the Master Artist…such tender truth in your words…Thank you 🙂
Grace amazes me every day. She’s well named.
i look at the everyday small joys and that keeps me sane
Me, too, David. Me, too. Though I’m sure my family sometimes questions my sanity. 😉
“You can tell a kid drew this.” I seriously had to chuckle out loud at that. Lydia says the same kind of stuff. And I’m always like, “Well. You ARE a kid.” … Oh these girls.
Great life lessons here. And I see that she still titled it “a masterpiece.” Fantastic.
Can you post a picture of this work of art on Facebook?
Good response, Jennifer! We’re out of town right now. I’ll try to remember to post it when I get back. What was I thinking, anyway? That would have made a better image for the post!
Sandra – this is simply beautiful – and my heart loves how you taught your daughter to make something beautiful out of a mess – teaching hope and faith – and this line – “And this sphere, I know, does not spin crazy out of control, but He confines it by love and saturates it with grace” – I love what God allows us to do with words – what you’ve done with them:) Simply blessed by your post today!
Your words bless me today, and I’m glad we’re wrapped up in this journey with the Word.
do you know how i needed this hope today? this week? tears. sharing. love you.