Beauty Marks

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  Not because God has not been very present and doing things, but because it didn’t seem time to write. But here I am again…punching keys on a keyboard, processing this crazy mess called life with my heavenly father.

A month ago, I literally stood on a mountain top in the physical and in the spiritual.  His presence exploded on me and a friend like fireworks of light in a way I’d never experienced before. With a full, “yes!” to His will, my spirit soared.

The very next day, the glory had lifted and a dark cloud descended. The following weeks, that cloud of depression and disillusion hung over me.  For a week, I lay around my house without strength or appetite.  As I write, I still feel it lingering, trying to pull me back in it’s grip.

For several years of my life, I fought depression as I fought for my life, my freedom…a time of darkness that I almost sucked me into a black hole.  These familiar feelings frightened me.

I find though, the darkness doesn’t bother my heavenly Father.  This morning, I heard His voice again ever so gently saying I had gotten my eyes on the waves and forgotten the horizon.  That seems an easy thing for me to do most of the time.  God’s perspective is so much higher than ours.

As I lay in bed, snuggled under the covers, the house quiet, my family already at  church, I unashamedly had slept in.  It was then He reminded me of a kiss.  I call these times God intersects our lives with His love in a tangible way, a kiss from Him.  I had been at an 80s dance the night before with two of my girls.  A friend had hung a dated 1988 photo of me next to a photo of Lionel Richie.  I’ve woken up recently to Lionel Richie songs playing in my head.  As I looked at the photos on the wall, I clearly heard the whisper in my ear, “I just wanted to remind you that I love you.”  So I reached over googling my favorite song from the 80’s, “Hello” this morning.  After listening to it several times and hearing words of His love wash over my wounds, I got up, making it in time to church for our second service.

My friend, the master potter, Gary Wilson, preached a wordless sermon, by creating a piece of pottery in front of the congregation.  As I watched him form the pot, to almost perfection, he quietly shook his head in disapproval.  He suddenly took both muddy hands and crushed the pot, crumbling the clay in his grip, then smashing it back into a ball.  He then threw it back on a marble slab, beginning the painful process of kneading the clay to rid it of imperfections for a second time.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  “That’s how I feel, God.  I thought we had made such progress.  I thought I was finally becoming something beautiful.  I was just starting to believe your promises you’ve made for me.  And I feel like you’ve just taken me back to the beginning. And I’m just a messy lump of clay again.”.

I heard His gentle voice answer, “If I put you back on the slab, it’s only to work out more impurities, so you will be more beautiful. You can trust me.”  As I continued to watch the new pot forming, and the final touches marked in a decorative pattern, the swipes reminded me of scars.  “What you see as scars, if given to me, become beauty marks.  In these places where my love has healed your wounds, I see beauty.”

I don’t understand all the reasons why God chooses to mold us the way He does, or His timing on things.  But I have become convinced that He is good.
So, when disappointment sets in, when God seems to be delaying His promises, when the cloud has descended, and hope seems deferred, and you feel the pressure pushing in, lift your eyes to the horizons, because His promises are steadfast.  His view is quite above our own. Trust Him.  He knows how to make beautiful things out of lumps of clay.

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