For many years, the entry to our bungalow was a door
comprised of scraps of redwood. My craftsman husband had built a redwood strip
canoe, leaving leftover narrow pieces. On the jobsite of architecturally
designed houses as an electrician, he’d also gathered pieces of 1 x 4 redwood
lumber. Putting them together, we designed an elegant entrance of alternating
wide and thin vertical lines. Carefully offsetting the horizontal lines of the
varying lengths of the wide wood, from scraps we made order and beauty. The
thick and thin lines carried one’s eye along the oiled hardwood, interrupted
only by the rectangular brass knocker, proclaiming peace to all who entered.
Artists save the smallest scraps of material from
destruction. Without our artistic eye, the scraps of redwood would be
languishing in our basement or a garbage dump. Bits of sparkly dichroic glass
in my husband’s studio will someday accent a lampshade or a pendant. Architectural
salvage in the form of the metal stars used to anchor old brick buildings
together hang in a threesome on our wooden fence.
Our artist God can take the scraps of our lives, too, and
make beauty. Nothing is leftover or salvaged in God’s plan. From childhood
mistreatment, he can make resilience. From divorce he can deepen dependence on
him. From a lost child, he can build deep compassion. Papa-God is using the
residue of our lives to shape us into the beautiful image of his dear son. The
spiritual beauty he creates is more solid than our redwood door. Our door only
lasted for a season until it sagged on its hinges. Our artist Papa makes beauty
that lasts forever.
Papa, May we long for the beauty that lasts.