Thursday, March 3, 2011

Transforming Grace

 The rose was once but a shoot of thorns.
The violin was once not in tune.
The home was once under construction.
The butterfly was once a caterpillar.
The work of art was once a blank canvas.

The gold was once unrefined.

Anything of beauty, of worth, of value... has not always been.

It takes doing.  It takes time. It takes grace.

It takes seeing it before it is.

We just inserted three beams in place of a wall that needed removing.  The beams came  from an old barn on our property that was torn down years ago.  Old, raw, precious wood -- wood with a history -- that has been sitting in piles just waiting for someone to see the worth in it again.

I took to the sander.  Sanding and sanding.  Revealing, beneath the years of weather, between the marks of the saw blade, light. 


And I thought...

What if I hadn't taken this time?  What if I began this work but did not finish it?  What if the task was so big I chose to take an ax to the imperfections instead of the tedious work of sanding?

It's beauty would remain unbeheld.
It would never be appreciated for anything more than old, dirty, unfinished barn wood.
Sure it would be appreciated for what it represents.  Time and purpose...

But would it radiate of freshness, newness, and the splendor that comes only from undergoing transformation?

What if I did hack at the imperfections with an ax?

Scarring the wood.  Deeply.  Undoing not possible.

Are we more than old barn beams... Unrefined gold... Mere caterpillars...?

Like the polishing of river rock under the current of the river, we can lead one another, and our children, to the smoothing waters of Him who made us.  Who made us to be



In love...
In love with each other, with life, with Him.

We have got to stop rushing the process with a chain saw when all that was needed was a simple chisel. 
We can no longer jump to the end of the book -- and hope for it to mean something -- with out putting in the time to get to know the story. 

When we say what we see... That is taking an ax to what's un-lovely.  Wounding deeply.
Can we choose to see through God-filtered lenses and speak only His truth?  Will we love -- love intensly what God loves, refusing to see our children/each other any other way? 
And speak that love.

We have the power, in Jesus name, to speak away, like a gentle sanding, that which is harsh, raw, hard, and ugly.

Patient persistence pierces through indifference; 
gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.   Proverbs 25:15

"Today, I will pray to speak words that are only STRONG words, words that make these children feel strong. Grace words. Grace is the only non-toxic air. All other words I breathe are death words."  Ann Voskamp

Let us be patiently persistant in our dealings with those young or old and speak only words of life...

It is in this practice of GRACE that you will see those raw beams in your life...



  1. I love the correlation between the construction of your house and the construction of your (and all of ours) home.