The Shades of Our Lives

Once a month a group of my girlfriends get together for a fun-filled evening with each other. The best part of our Girls' Night Out is the surprise - my friend plans each outing but doesn't tell us the plans until we arrive. She gives us a few hints such as money to bring or clothing to wear, but other than that, we are left to our imaginations. One night last November, she brought us all to a crafty little workshop in our small town to create mosaics. I'm not very artistic, so this was a stretch for me and I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the project was.

I took the broken pieces of glass and pottery - carefully choosing colors that would match my design. I started with something small and simple - a dragonfly. Emerald wings against a sapphire sky sparkled but something was missing. I tediously glued each small piece onto my project and when I was finished, there was one more element that was needed to tie the art together - grout. There are different colors of grout, but I chose the jet black to offset the bright colors of my design.

The grout filled in the spaces between broken shards of glass to outline each brilliant color and set the picture in a perfect frame.

"In our lives the darkest times, the days that are bleak and black, add depth to every other experience. Like the dark bits of color in a mosaic, they add the contrast and shadows that give beauty to the whole, but they are just a small part of the big picture."

~ Amy Grant~
Mosaic: Pieces of My Life so Far

Without contrast, there is no depth. My heart longs for a world filled with bright cheerful colors, but God desires more depth for me than that. He is piecing together my life one broken shard at a time - right now it might look like a jumbled mess. Just a bunch of broken pottery. But when He is finished, it will shine brilliantly. And the grout - the grey and black days will only be the outlines around the bright colors of grace, hope and truth.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..." Philippians 2:14-16a

In my life and in this world, there is darkness - sin and pain line everything I do and see. If I can hold on to the Word (who is Light), then I can shine out like a star in the darkness for His glory. The stars don't shine during the day though - they only shine brightly in the darkness. So, I must be willing to live in the darkness of this world (for now) and grip His Word, to add depth and color to this dark place by His grace.

Darkness is not beautiful on its own - but God has a way of using even the darkest moments to make life beautiful. Joseph knew this when he told his brothers (who had sold him as a slave to the Egyptians) that God used their evil acts for His glory. God takes the dark things and allows them to outline the glorious things He has done for us and in us.

I can't wait to see what this piece of artwork will look like when He is finished. I'm watching Him choose each colorful piece and wondering how that will fit in to complete the whole. He is a master artist and I eagerly anticipate the completion of this project. It will be amazing.

For more thoughts on the mosaic of our lives, visit Elisa.


Anonymous said…
[My heart longs for a world filled with bright cheerful colors] Because that is how God created the world. He didn't create us for death, sin and a fallen world. Someplace deep inside of us remembers this... we long for a perfect environment, perfect fellowship with our Creator. We long for heaven.
Amen Julie! Can't wait for that day!
Melissa said…
"Darkness is not beautiful on its own - but God has a way of using even the darkest moments to make life beautiful."

Praise the Lord! He is able to make beauty from ashes! Just that gives me a bit of hope!
lori said… neat is it that you actually saw the analogy in 'real life.'

I loved it!
Darkeness when transfigured by God becomes light...light found in unexpected places.
Anonymous said…
God bless you richly as you continue to shine for Him!
Denise said…
Such a lovely post my friend.
Lisa said…
Beautiful description of how our Lord is the master creator and most fabulous artist, and we are the work of His hands. Thanks for the reminder that we're in process still!
You're already shining, Heather! Keep on seeking His face.

I've made a few mosaics. I love, love them. I think I'll add the photo of mine to my blog later today. Gotta go pick up my kiddos now. I made a cross, which I love!

Pop in for tea later!
Bonnie W said…
Heather, I remember creating mosaics in VBS so many years ago using coffee can lids and little ceramic tiles. Now I stick to paper to create my designs on cards. But the result is similar - it is the contrast of the dark background with the lighter pieces of patterned paper that seems to create the best designs.

I enjoyed your blog and thanks for stopping by to encourage me today.
Beth K. Vogt said…
Thanks for sharing.
I will never look at a mosaic the same way again after reading this.
Susan said…
"God takes the dark things and allows them to outline the glorious things He has done for us and in us..."

Heather, your post was just incredible! I love the way God showed you this analogy as you made your mosaic.

I want to shine for Him and I know all things do work together for the good in our lives, no matter how dark it may be.

Blessings to you,

Anonymous said…
Your post is truly a blessing. Thank you for your comment on my entry.

God bless!
Anonymous said…
The contrast is critical in our walk, but I thank God for the hope and truth in Christ Jesus, the artist.
Kathy Schwanke said…
Wow, Heather, I haven't been online all week due to being super-busy. The Phillipians verse is one we used in our youth group last night, and I used it in my last post too!! I love when that happens. Shine like stars in the!

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