Pushing the needle in over and over again to fill each square with the designated color. Changing colors on the needle over and over again and watched the needlework design emerge. Turning the embroidery over, the back was scarred with knots and frayed ends and crossed over edges. Much like our lives, our “private” side can be scarred and broken with the marks of failures and hardships deeply embedded into our hearts. Turning the work over, I marvel at the canvas before me. Gorgeous strokes flow to produce a lovely landscape, muted and joyful in a kaleidoscope of colors. The thoughtful blues, the flamboyant mahogany, the effervescent golden, the deep flowing emerald, the melancholy periwinkle, the soft pinks flood my visual senses. A sigh of contentment rushes involuntarily to my heart. In this moment I want to stay.
Pain comes, hard dark times threaten, money is tight, loved ones die, relationships are confusing, emotions swirl, hurtful and angry words ensue and darkness sets in to try to steal this colorful moment that I try to cling to. In these moments, I begin to understand the beauty of pain. The dark threads weave in and out of the color-filled canvas framing each intricate detail causing boldness and richness not seen before. As the threads of pain and darkness outline the joy and beauty of our lives, we are reminded that we live in a world of mountains and valleys. The Master Weaver uses the pain and tragedy in the wisps of our frail human days to outline the beautiful moments to bring vivid contrast in order to see the hand of His glory in our lives. To fully appreciate the joy of our days we must experience loss. At times we are a pendulum of laughter and tears. Our lives are woven in an eclectic mix of colorful and exciting bursts of mountaintop experiences, muted shades of the ordinary and outlined by tragedy in the valley of darkness to reveal a remarkable work at its completion. When we look at our lives, do we only see the dark threads, or the messy scattered hopelessly fragmented underside? Or do we gaze upon what is being woven in His timing? Guilty of all three and my prayer is to posture my heart to accept the threads that are woven on my canvas with His grace and look to Him with abundant joy for the hope that is set before me. What compels me to hope is the love of my Father in Heaven who holds me in the very center of His palm as together we weave the life that is mine.
This life that is in Him. This broken, fragmented, messy life brought to the cross where He saw beauty in the ashes. Tears of thankfulness wet the canvas when I realize that while I can only see the masterpiece He is weaving in my life in the moment, He sees the finished work of His grace in my life.
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.