I am preparing for the Bayside of Citrus Heights Women’s Retreat this weekend where I have the pleasure of doing a workshop on Saturday afternoon. The theme this year is “Masterpiece” and I pulled out the message that I did at the Ladies Tea in Elk Grove last October thinking that my work was done and I could relax. Then my good friend, Laura, who went with me to Elk Grove, asked me a question. She said, “I always wondered about your museum guide, who is he and what if he had a bigger role to play? I replied, “I don’t know but I will pray about it.”
So I did. In the mad pace of my summer, I stole away for moments at a time and asked God, “What would it look like if I expanded the tour of the gallery of heaven?”, “Who was the guide?” and “How would it change the journey?”
The following excerpt is the beginning of that answer. Unfinished Masterpiece grew into a short story of five chapters and a beautiful journey through the gallery of heaven with my very own personal guide. This gallery is filled with exquisite artwork depicting the most important moments recorded in the Bible. On this tour my guide brings me to specific pieces of art that will help move me from the gray apathy of emotional numbness to the bright color filled freedom of spiritual breakthrough.
I am also working on adding an audio cd with my narration of this wonderful journey.
Here is the beginning:
“I sat alone on the top of the little hill in the dark of the predawn. It was quiet there and it matched my mood. I watched as the sunrise warmed the cold dawn sky above me. In the next few moments the world changed from shades of grey to full blown color. The world was brought to life around me but couldn’t seem to touch the cold that had settled inside of me. I was an indifferent spectator to the beauty around me and numb to it’s majestic display. I sat there until the magic of the sunrise dissipated into the bright morning light of a new day. Unable to move but unwilling to stay, I whispered a desperate plea, “Help me”.
“I am here”.
I turned to see a companion sitting next to me.
“I didn’t see you before”, I said.
“You didn’t need to”, he replied, “but I have been here the entire time”.
Without looking at him I asked, “Why do I feel nothing- Why does the world warm to life around me but I still feel lost in the predawn?”
“It is because you have come to a place of decision” he said, “You think you are here because you want to give up, but really you are here to decide.”
“Decide what?” I wondered aloud.
Instead of an answer, I received an invitation,”Will you come with me? I want to show you something.”
“Sure, what do I have to lose?”
He smiled at me as he stood, held out his hand and helped me get up.
“Let’s walk”, he said.
With a sweeping gesture of my hand, I replied, “Lead the way…”
We walked silently through the idyllic village street with its charming storefronts and shuttered cottage windows. No one was out and about as it was still too early in the morning. I didn’t ask my companion where we were going, I didn’t feel the need to know. I was simply glad for the walk and for not feeling alone anymore.
Soon we came to the end of the street and to the entrance of a beautiful museum. The simple sign on the door said, “The Gallery”. I raised my eyebrows at my guide and asked “Are we going in?”
“We are” he said as he pulled a key out of his pocket and proceeded to unlock the door.
We passed through the old fashioned turnstile in the front lobby and entered a big room with sparse modern decor. The hardwood floor gleamed as if it had just been polished and the walls answered the floor with beautiful simple light woods. The room was filled with an air of uncomplicated refinement reflecting well it’s owner. My guide lead me to a small wooden sculpture that sat upon a glass pedestal. It was a little bird, a sparrow, I think. I marveled at the detail given to it’s delicate wings and small beak. It looked as if it was about to take flight and could at any moment if it desired to do so.
“What a beautiful work of craftsmanship”, I said, as I bent down to get a closer look.
“No more beautiful than you are,” I heard from behind me.
I smiled but shook my head and said, “I am not beautiful, or at least- not beautiful enough.”
“Enough for what?” he questioned.
“Enough to count, to be used, to be chosen. I am not enough” I said as well practiced thoughts slipped into words.
“More care has been put into your life than was put in creating this sculptor.”
I pondered that for a minute.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care”, I recited from memory.
“Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” he said as I felt the gentle tug on my hair. “Don’t allow fear to hold you captive; your are worth more than many sparrows. Little things matter. You are created by millions of little things; The cells that make you,your body and house your spirit. You are alive because of such wonderful little things. Each one is beautifully fulfilling it’s intended purpose.”
“Tell me,” he continued, “What do you think is the purpose of this sculpture?”
I gently shook my head back and forth.
“It is to remind you that no matter how little you feel, you are of great significance to God. It is here to remind that if He put such care into creating this small creature how much more care has He put into creating you? Every Life matters. You matter.”
I glanced down at the inscription on the pedestal: Life’s Significance.”
Friend, what well practiced words hold you back?
Do you realize how precious and valuable you are to God?
Every life matters. You matter.
I am so excited about what God can and might do through this project. Pray for me this weekend and pray for the ladies who will take the time to walk the journey with me. I am working on making at this project available “out there” in the real world too, lol. Let me know if you are interested.
May God’s amazing love surround you, fill you and overflow from you to all those influenced and impacted by your life. Have a fantastic weekend!