Tapestry of Life
Composition Posted: 1,011 words
Life is made up of shadows. This beautiful, wild, free, untamed, awesome creation that we see and feel all around us is a shadow of what was. The Grand Canyon with all of its beauty and majesty shouts to the glory of God and all we can see is like a crude crayon drawing.
”To surrender a precious dream is a fearful thing, but to pursue anything but the full measure of the glory of God’s love is a wasted life.”– Joshua Eddy
I long to go home, home to the place where I can see true pictures and essence and strain my eyes infinitely into the artistry. It’s a changing, shifting desire that doesn’t stick around all the time — more often I’m poking my head back into the darkness to play around down there. But how can you focus long on the darkness when there’s light to be found?
I long to look in between all of the rushing around and find the small moments in life: the ones that really matter. I want to see grasshoppers in the car and dragons in the sky.
I long to follow God, clinging on like Jacob did. I ache to cut out the meaningless – and often painful – world, to live as God intended us to: with all of our might.
This is what living is meant to be.
We wake in the night in the womb of the world– Andrew Peterson
We beat our fists on the door
We cannot breathe in this sea that swirls
So we groan in this great darkness
For deliverance, deliverance, oh, Lord.
We have been delivered. So we take our tiny tentative steps into a world so much huger than ourselves. Through Christ, we are welcomed into the huge and incredible story that God is writing. It is a tapestry, folded by history and slowly taking shape until the day when it is complete. Sometimes, while biking to the store, I catch a glimpse of that day.
You, me, we’re tiny threads in that tapestry. And maybe I’m a red thread, a single petal on a rose. Maybe you’re the thread that draws the whisker of the lion. Or the tiny swell out far near the horizon of the sea. Or just a little leaf on the tree. Who knows? We follow these tiny threads around, and maybe or three make up your whole life. And all of the threads overlap, all the threads of all the people who’ve ever lived, woven throughout God’s creation. Together, they’re the tapestry of the story God is telling.
The tapestry is ancient: the first stitch began in the Garden of Eden when God said, “Let us make man in our own image,” and it’s continued throughout the thousands of years, telling the story of God’s love.
The tapestry is woven with liquid glass that shines in the sunlight. “Light deflecting, bouncing and shining off of tiny shard-strands.” We’re all underneath, peering up through the dark glass, going through the daily routine. We can maybe see the clouds overhead, or the echoes of them, but we see dimly. Then just once, for an instant, you’re above the woven glass, and you can see the storm, not just clouds. And it’s slick and soaked from the beating rain, and you breathe in and feel the exhilaration of what God has for you. And you’re perched precariously on the glass, spinning and leaning, flashing your eyes to catch as much as you can.
Then you are back under in the dark and it seems darker than before. And you spend all your time clawing at the tapestry above you, trying to get back up. People don’t realize what you’re doing. They think you’re crazy. But that’s all you can think of. You’ve seen the end. You’ve seen home. I want to go home.
Bright is the mystery– Andrew Peterson
Plain is the beauty before us
Could this beauty be for us?
God is the Weaver. God is the one pulling your thread about and over and through. The infinite, almighty God, who wears the planets as rings on his fingers and the galaxies as his cloak, loves us. The Word of God, who spoke existence into being with a command, became flesh and died for us. The God of tsunamis and earthquakes and volcanoes and power loves. He loves us. That’s the sort of love we’re dealing with — that’s the infinite love that is weaving the tapestry.
Can you begin to fathom that? You’re further ahead than I am if you can. Do you know what this does to life? It completely flips everything inside out. When you just begin to grasp the tiniest bit of God’s love, that’s when life is worth living. That’s when you poke your head up into the salty air and can smell and see the storm on your face for just an instant. That’s when you begin to be born.
That’s what life is about. It’s so far beyond my reckoning that I can’t even begin to comprehend. All I know is that my pathetic dreams, my few tiny glimpses, can’t hold a candle to what God has in store. Just my tiny thread is more than I can handle. But he is weaving all of it: His fingerprints and love are woven through every bit of the tapestry. When you begin to grasp…it’s as if all of your life you’ve been in the dark and now you emerge in the brilliant, glimmering, glorious light!
Let’s walk in the rain. Let’s find the storm. And let’s live, truly live, with all of our might. Life’s a wild journey: will you join me on this adventure?
I’m deeply indebted to Elizabeth Kirkwood for brainstorming with me on this post a few weeks before I published it, turning musings into real stuff, and coining the amazing term “Woven Glass,” which I’ve used in this post. This post was originally published in September of 2012, and updated one year later with a few additions.
(Photo credit Todd Rains)