I go in search of canvas to create on. Not the neatly stretched, pre-primed, prepared artist canvases gleaming white and pristine in the art store, but rather raw canvas meant to be trampled on, designed to catch spills and splatters, christened as a drop-cloth for the off-scouring of creativity. It empties in an unceremonious heap on my studio floor daring me to transform it, reminding me of the tarp cities in the refuse heaps of Africa turned into makeshift shanties and tent communities all crying for redemption’s untangling.
Can God take the places of our suffering, the worst moments and hardest journeys and transform them to become the very canvas backdrops for the greatest displays of His beauty in our lives? I don’t think true redemption can be experienced any other way.
For days I let it sit. Right in the middle of it all. Reminding me of the before.
So here, the imperfectly woven material designed for walking on, to absorb the spills of beauty. Found in a hardware store. Covered in dust. A cloth meant perhaps to protect but not to become anything in and of itself. How like so many of our stories. The world, our lives, our experience has us labeled and boxed as this one thing, something of function but not anything with great expectation attached.
Then Papa intervenes, rescues us from dusty dark bins and takes that which was walked on, stepped over, invisible and He sees. He infuses worth. He irons out our wrinkles and shapes us into that which can display His goodness and glory. Even the hardest seasons redeemed into part of the everything that works together for our good. Not one moment, not one tear, not one thread lost or wasted in this story of the art of His redemption alive, brilliantly bursting forth in the cracks and crevices of our lives where we least expect it.
I have been wanting to explore redemption and transformation interwoven with other related themes and subjects. As these canvas pieces become substrates for this journey, I’ll share the trek I take with them. And we both will be surprised with what He does with the unexpected and unlikely. In many more ways than one.
Be blessed friends with the knowing not one thread of your life has unraveled beyond the place of His ability to weave it back into the masterpiece He is creating in you.