“MY LIFE A TAPESTRY?”
"I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God." (Colossians 2:2 - MSG)
"For you fashioned my inmost being, knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13 - Complete Jewish Bible 2016)
I recently had the privilege of looking at a piece of art, painted by my 12-year old grandson, Ethan, who is gifted with this talent. To my untrained eyes, it is simply a painting of trees and if I had painted it, I would have used brown for the tree trunks; after all, tree trunks are brown. Instead, Ethan painted the trunks using a blend of blues, whites and reds resulting in a pinkish look which in fact, looks more like the real thing. (He takes art classes and watches videos of Bob Ross; an American painter and host of art shows on TV and Netflix.)
The colour of the trees stands out making them pop, but there is so much more; the depth of this painting is revealed when a light is shone on it. The trees appear to emerge and the light reveals a forest behind and you see layers of darkness. One can see into the depths of the picture and recognize more than the trees at the front. It is both beautiful and captivating!
I love colourful trees with their branches and leaves but I'm drawn to the depth of the forest behind. So much happens there and it got me thinking of my life, of life in general. As I walk into the forest behind the trees, I see recent places I've been; places where my trust has wavered and worry and fear took hold. I should have known better but that is easy to say when looking back. Not so easy when lost in the gloom!
A few steps deeper and I face angry thoughts that became words flung carelessly about. I should have held my tongue until I had control. Farther in the shadows, I find the cage of depression. It took a long time to stop rattling and clanging its door. And yet it still will try to snare me.
Farther and farther I travel and meet the years of living on my own, not knowing Christ. I call these the “dark years". And then to childhood and saying goodbye to my Mum, my mainstay; the one who would have helped me navigate the twisting roads of life. In all our lives, we have dark places; places where we suffered, places we lived in pain of every kind, places that rip us apart if we let our thoughts go there even for a minute.
"If I say,"Let darkness surround me, let the light around me be night," even darkness like this is not too dark for you; rather, night is as clear as day, darkness and light are the same." (Psalm 139:11-12 - Complete Jewish Bible)
What to us is dark and shameful, to God is redeemed and covered with his love. When we look at a painting or tapestry, we see a marvelous blend of colours, light and dark. The dark shades of our past create depth upon which God shines all his brilliance and light, bringing forward his work in us. So, as I look at my grandson's painting, I see depth and growth in the shadows and brilliant life in the foreground. This is what my life is!
I'm not exempt from making more shadows, but I'm assured the shadow will be the highlight behind more light.
And this is what our life is; an exquisite work of art, painted, molded, sculpted by the Master's hand. "…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NIV).
You walked beside me every day
Along each step I took
In darkness and in light you went
And never me forsook
Through dark and dreary times
When I didn't know my way
When I was lost and couldn't cry
Beside me you did stay
The time had come
For me to know
The saver of my soul
My heart began to stir within
My eyes began to see
My mind opened to the possibility
That you had been with me
The times of loneliness
The times of fear and dread
They try to mess my thoughts
And make me think I'm dead
But you, O Lord, have said “NO MORE!"
"Within the shadows of your life my glorious light now shows.
And whatever comes to pass, you'll never be alone."
"And all the dark and shadows do is highlight all your growth!"
By Jennifer Greene
Hillsong’s song “Tapestry” perfectly captures the message of this blog.
Reflect on these powerful lyrics.