56. the random Messy Beauty of everyday life

I bought a new photo app for my phone the other day for 99 cents. While playing around with Nofinder (just pushing buttons, in other words) this photo was the fourth one I took.
Random messy beauty

I was shocked. It was really just a shot from the back deck here at Apple Hill. None of the others looked like this at all, and I have no idea what I did or how it came out like this. It is totally random, and I’ll probably never be able to recreate the effect, but I love it! It’s messy; it’s beautiful; and it reminds me of a favorite quote from Madeleine L’Engle:

Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”

  • That is, don’t wait — just plunge right in;
  • that is, keep working — it will come;
  • that is, while you’re working — don’t forget to say thank you to the Creator who created you to create.

I’ve been thinking about beauty lately because the photos on my recent blog posts have not been beautiful. Yet there is a beauty in messes that only the person close to it, the creator, can see. We know what the mess is going to turn into… Ever made a cake? Flour, eggshells, sugar spilled all over the counter, dirty cups and measuring spoons all over? Yet the end result is a delicious dessert.

20130316-213854.jpgWe’re moving everything out of the kitchen to get ready to lay the floor. I don’t even see this mess because I know it’s just a temporary inconvenience; but if anyone came to visit, they might think we’re applying to be on “Hoarders.” And, really, the entire cottage looks like this right now. There are no “Beautiful Photos” because there just aren’t any. And yet…

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This coil of wire is probably not beautiful to you. But I look at that gorgeous roll of BX cable, and I see new wiring in a wonderfully rehabilitated, once dilapidated, old cottage. I see the cost of  it, the hands that labored over it, and what it is replacing — old jumbled up, mouse-chewed, taped-together wires. Now see again with new eyes — Isn’t that a fantastic coil of shiny cable? And just look at this new installation…


What a metaphor for everyday life, for God. Our creator knows and loves us regardless of the mess we are now, because he knows what we will be later: a perfectly created work of art; a delicious dessert; a beautiful house, perfectly wired.

I hope that thought gives you the hope that it gives me…

15. The Color of Light

We’ve been on a mission trip to Alabama for the last week, and I am feeling contemplative…

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Color is Light–
every color in white
Refracted, Reflected
Rays from the sun.

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Azure, Vermillion,
Lavender, Dun
every shade, every hue–
gritty gray, brilliant blue,

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There is nothing new
under the sun
Color is Light
of the World
is the One.

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I’m having trouble making decisions on color. For inspiration I’ve been sitting on the back porch looking. Looking at the sky. Looking at the birds. Looking at the world. Every color is here, there.
I believe in creation. I believe everything was lovingly created by an all powerful God — from the sky and sun and stars to the shape and smell and shade of a hydrangea. The world is too full of minute intricacies and creative energies to have just happened…

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I didn’t always believe this; I try to be careful with words to not offend, but God the creator has made us to be creators as well. We are made in His image… He has put colors in our eyes, music in our ears, and eternity in our hearts. We are seekers and God is waiting for us to knock at the door. He will never force us to believe, but the created world points us to God. He has made it all:

every human,

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every spiderweb,

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every note,

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every tree,

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every color,

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— and he is waiting for our hearts to open to him in a thank-you song.