Studio Sneak Peek: A Beauti-FULL Mess
I've been tracing tangles and slopping on layer upon layer of paint--just making a bit of a mess with the delicious colors of citrus and raspberry and dusty bubblegum pink. It's like therapy, in a way, trying to relax and to "cleanse my palette" in between focused sessions of working on a very detailed ink drawing (that I will reveal at a later point) until my eyes cross.
I think I also must be trying to work something out in my heart as I paint. I can tell because even though I'm trying to have fun and to feel free, I still have this weight on my shoulder--the worry that this painting just isn't "good enough." And though my brain is full of ideas about what this uneasiness might mean, I'm not really in the mood to write today, not in the mood to figure it out.
But lookie there. The Gypsy Mama's "Five Minute Friday" prompt today is the word "Full"; maybe a quick little unedited free-write is just the thing to uncover the story here, to let it spill out. So here goes:
What if my hands were empty? Would my heart be fuller still?
What if my head were empty? Would there still be someone there to hold my hands
and to fill with them all the things
that I would not know how to carry for myself?
What if my heart were empty . . .
An empty heart
is sometimes the cost
of hands too-full and head too-full.
And heart-full sometimes comes at a high price too
but brings value beyond compare.
A mess. Because my life is FULL.
Full of good things.
And full of the knowledge
and the marks
of many things difficult
But that is where the beauty lies--
So that is where the beauty lies . . . and where exactly is that? That five minutes felt more like one. But now I've warmed up, so I will write just a bit longer. Even in a life filled to the brim with moments of surpassing joy and happiness, there are still moments of confusion, brokenness and pain. And THIS is where the beauty lies, here in this beautiful mess:
"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves" (2 Corinthians 4:7, New Living Translation).
God is in the good gifts, because He is the gift-giver. But the brokenness points back to Him too because He wants to carry this pain--to redeem it and to heal it. The NIV and other translations of this verse call it an "all-surpassing power"--there is nothing that He can't handle.
None of us can ever be "good enough." But the human race is a beautiful mess because God's not finished with us yet. He's the only One who can see the big picture--just like how I think this painting looks better on camera than it does in real life. He works to clean us up and to make us whole when we let Him carry us--when we hand over our worries and fears and pain and place it as stripes on the back and wounds in the hands of Jesus, to bury it deep in the empty grave of the One who is perfect and whole, whose only brokenness is his heart for the pain and the rebellion of the people He loves more than His own life.