Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pain is Beauty

It may appear odd at first glance, but God truly stands above all aspects of life and watches even the smallest and seemingly most shallow moments of our lives in exquisite detail.  He has many times proven it to me and I find my mind drawn in that direction as He has recently impressed upon my mind the psychological need to indulge in spa treatments and the like in order to overcome the pressing stress that I have found mounting onto my mind and shoulders.  But I digress.

Life can hold many disappointments and in my case throughout the last few years it has felt much as though I have been shoved in certain directions, which has each time leveled out into overwhelmingly painful dead ends.  I have petitioned heaven repeatedly as to why this would prove necessary, and what I am to learn from it.  I have not received complete answers other than that it has loosened my mind somewhat in order to perhaps someday mentally heal from the ever lurking post traumatic stress and in many instances, have taught other people to come closer to the Lord.  But why, I pleaded, doesn't the Lord just heal me?  Why won't He just lead me in a straight line toward peace and emotional rest?  Why does it feel as though the floor continually shifts from beneath my feet when I think I have a moment to lay down my emotional troubles and find safety?  And why, oh why, are there so many stop/start moments when I think I have an answer and then find myself violently shut down?  

This Sabbath I found myself curled up on the couch after church, indulging in a moment of cross stitch.  I have been working on stitching Van Gogh's Starry Night, which at first glance I thought would prove a fairly easy 5"x7".  Not so, I discovered.  Some sections seem fairly straightforward, with the same thread color extending across a decently large space, so I can simply stitch the Xs without much thought.  But that seems more the exception in this work than the rule and I find many moments in which I have to employ one color for about three stitches, then stop, get out another, and continue for another brief period before switching to yet another hue.  There is so much patchwork and changing of thread that the art which usually relaxes me has found me sighing in impatient frustration.  

But step back and look at the tapestry, though only less than one third of the way finished.  Consider the painting itself and all the splendor with which Van Gogh enriched the earth with this one masterwork.  Isn't the finished product worth all the internal work?  And when we take this concept and apply it to our lives, certainly the Lord is creating a masterwork in the events around us.  When we find ourselves with so many starts, stops, twists, turns, dead ends and confusion, perhaps we might attribute them to the many subtle hues that God is using to create the tapestry of our lives.  Perhaps those friendships I have considered as ruined and lost in spite of my kindness and efforts will eventually shine forth as shining moments that tested my metal and, I can only hope, brought added light and intelligence into the lives of others. 

1 comment:

  1. I have a mental illness because I was abused as a child. I have wondered myself why God doesn't just heal me. I've wondered why I go up and down in coping with life. I wonder why my road isn't always upward. I guess it is because that is the way I learn and grow as a Christian.

    I love your analogy of the cross stitch work. I used to cross stitch. It always looked a mess on the back but lovely on the front. You stated it beautifully.