A Fragmentary Masterpiece

Do you ever have days when you think that, for many of us, there are far fewer days in front of us than behind us?

When I was young, I never thought about things like that.  I felt invincible.  I felt like I had all the time in the world to do and be what I hoped and dreamed I would.  If I ever contemplated my mortality, I soon buried it in fleeting moments because it seemed so far away. 

But at some point, you reach a certain age when you start thinking about things like time and how we're all running out of it at an alarming rate.  

And still, something within us longs for more time, more experience, and anything that can aid us in our search for meaning and fulfillment.  

In these moments, we sometimes wonder what might have been if we'd taken different turns at the crossroads we've faced.  We wish we'd done more, said more, accomplished more.  

The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 144 put it like this: 

All we are is a puff of air;
    we’re like shadows in a campfire. (MSG)

You may be wondering where this is going.  You might be thinking, "Where's the turn in this? I'm not feeling all that inspired at the moment."  

Bear with me for a bit. It's important to sit with the knowledge of the brevity of our lives, how fragile we are, and how precious every single day of life truly is for us.  

Here's the turn, though.  

Our lives may be brief on this side of reality, but there is eternity within us.  We are part of something far greater than we could ever imagine.  The Universe (God) has imbued us with glorious purpose now and forever.  

I read a beautiful poem today from Caroline Mellor entitled "Small Things."  This stanza really stood out for me because it speaks directly into everything I've been saying thus far: 
What if you could take your one messy, complicated life,
all of your failures and your unmet yearnings,
all of the colours, the dreams and the hungers
and, just for a moment, see it for what it is:
a fragmentary masterpiece of the universe,
a speck of dust dancing in the sunbeams
which you alone hold in warm, cupped hands. 

There is so much amazingness in this, isn't there?  The line that resonates with me the most is where Mellor writes that our life is "a fragmentary masterpiece of the universe." 

Come on!  How beautiful is that?  Of course, our lives are brief in the grand scheme of things.  We're a small painted thread on the great velvet painting of everything. 

But that small painted thread is a masterpiece, painted by a true Master who has given us glorious purpose in our short, messy, complicated lives.  

To shift to the metaphors Mellor uses, we are also a speck of dust.  

But that dust is made of stars, illuminated by the star above our heads, a star that shines a light that we can hold in our hands, let bathe over our weary faces, and show us the way forward in the darkness.  

I see this light as the very Light of the World---the light that Jesus said was within each of us, a light that cannot be overwhelmed by the darkness of death, that lives beyond the brief moment we are present in this reality.  

There is an eternity in all of us.  We are both now, and not yet.  We are becoming, even though we may be dying.  We are not done. Ever. 

There is so much beyond our imagination, and all of the unfulfilled dreams, wrong turns, and unmet yearnings will one day be resolved, if not in this life, then in the next.  

Using Jesus' own words to Mary and Martha as they grieved the death of their brother Lazarus, we should ask ourselves his question to them:  "Do you believe this?"  

Do we? Do we, really?  We must. It's the stuff of hope.  

May it be so, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and forever. Amen.  


Popular posts from this blog

Wuv... True Wuv...

Rapha & Yada - "Be Still & Know": Reimagined

The Lord Needs It: Lessons From A Donkey