The creative process is a powerful connection to the nature and workings of our Creator God. One of my recent artistic endeavors has been making mosaics. I have put a mosaic top onto our kitchen table, made a mosaic backsplash above our kitchen counters, and made countless mosaic picture frames. I was just reminiscing about the incident that started it all, years ago when my oldest daughter was “dancing” in the dining room so vigorously that my grandmother’s platter slid right out of the hutch and broke into several pieces. Feeling sentimental about its connection to my beloved grandmother, I put the pieces in a box and saved them. Then, another young daughter was putting away clean dishes and dropped a whole stack of plates. Almost all of them broke. My dismay at the pile of broken pieces changed to interest as I noticed the interesting arrangement of the variety of pieces on my kitchen floor. An idea began to form, and I added these pieces to the box that held my grandmother’s plate. Finally, one of my children who had to be encouraged to show any emotion whatsoever, had an unprecedented outburst protesting his assignment to dish duty and angrily slammed the dishes into the sink, breaking several. I know that doesn’t sound good, but it was good. It was a milestone moment for us, and by now I was viewing broken plates in a different light. I rinsed the pieces and put them in the box with the others.
All the broken plates began to remind me of the broken bits and pieces of our lives. Few of us come through entirely intact. I saved all of those pieces; some from a plain part of the plate, others more decorative. I began scouring thrift shops for the lone and chipped tableware that no one seemed to want. Then I took them out to the driveway and broke them on purpose, because now I had a plan.
First was the mosaic tabletop that I made with the pieces with which I had come to feel an emotional connection. My children kept asking “Mom, what is it going to BE?” I kept saying, “just wait and see.” How could I explain to them what is only an image in my mind? Apart, the pieces are only pottery chards, fit for the garbage bin. But when they are placed together, connected by grout and new purpose, they slowly transform into a thing of beauty. As I worked with the pieces, I coaxed them into patterns and designs they could never have made while in the original, or by themselves. As a whole plate, that is the single design they could be, but broken, and joined with other broken pieces, the possibilities are endless. That is the work that I see God doing in me, taking the broken and unwanted bits, connecting them with others by the grout of His saving grace, and together forming us into patterns that only He has imagined. In impatience I keep asking Him, “but what is it going to BE?” He keeps saying “just wait and see.” Most importantly though, is that it will be His creation, a new creation.
Down Victory Road
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:57