The job that was supposed to be yours, wasn’t. The man who was supposed to stay, left. The house that was supposed to sell, won’t. What do we do when the stories that were supposed to be aren’t? Sometimes the life that was supposed to be full feels empty. The answers that were supposed to be easy come difficult.
There may be legitimate cause to bend, to break down, to remain hard, hurt, a victim. There may be a thousand reasons to stay in your grief, unwilling or unable to let go. We can stop there, if we want to. We can live in our world-mold and be right and lonely.
And yet. Whole only comes after broken. Healing only comes after wounds. Are we willing to go a bit further and see?
“By his wounds we are healed. But they are our wounds, too; and until we have been healed we do not know what wholeness is. The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness … How many artists, in the eyes of the world, have been less than whole? The great artists have gained their wholeness through their wounds, their epilepsies, tuberculoses, periods of madness.”
Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
The Great Artist — the Maker of stars and straw and soil — was not supposed to be a carpenter. He was supposed to be a king. To reign strong, not bleed sweat. To be served, not be a servant. To live long, not die a criminal. If we stopped there, the story would be unjust and unfair. But stopping there it is unfinished. And that is precisely the point.
Perhaps living is all about learning to see beyond what is to what could be. Could it be there is more to the story that we don’t know yet? It doesn’t mean that God is trying to teach us a lesson in our difficulty. Perhaps he is simply creating a masterpiece.
God made the world and then He came to change it. He isn’t a principal, He’s an artist. He doesn’t condemn, He creates. But sometimes we stop too soon. And when we do, things seem unjust. Perhaps they are simply unfinished. When the world tries to change you with his painful, cutting ways, instead embrace the story, receive grace, turn around, and change the world.
For the month of October, I’m writing a series called 31 Days to Change the World on my blog, Chatting at the Sky. We would love to have you join us!
Leave a Comment