One more ingredient in a dish, one more smiley face on a note, one more dollar store treasure, one more thing we found in a closet that has someone’s  name on it, one more pair of earrings we really loved but really wanted to give, one more conversation deep into the night despite heavy eyelids, one more embrace, one more errand just because, one more heartfelt prayer to the Maker…These are the things we share with others –  things we sacrifice and concoct and craft by hand and scavenge for – extensions of our hearts and lives and time and affections.

We offer up and out pieces of ourselves, sometimes reciprocated…and sometimes rejected. Sometimes the pieces we offer become parts of another’s mosaic, adding a beauty that would otherwise be missing, and other times, our pieces are scattered into the wind, debris left by yet another hurricane of the heart. And the holes that are left within us can end up seeping mistrust, discouragement, isolation…

But there, in that dark place, we have a choice. We have a choice to continue, hunchbacked, eyes on the ground, dragging our feet angrily through the dust, or we can unclasp our cracked, weary hands from the wounds on our hearts, expose ourselves to a little sunshine, and allow God to use others to add their piece to our mosaic. We can allow Him to smooth the rough places with the grout of His unending, deeply-reaching, all-sustaining love. We can step out of that darkness and into His marvelous light, just as 1 Peter 2:9 says.

And then we can begin again. We can reach out again and offer ourselves as we seek out that one more piece we can give. Because really, in giving, we receive, and in receiving, we can position ourselves to give all over again. The giving and receiving are not mutually exclusive; it takes just as much courage to receive as it does to give. But when we choose to step out and give, to story together, to become a part of each others’ mosaics, we’re able to spread even more of the beauty and love of Christ around, making art for each other and for those who don’t yet know Him to see His glory.

So, whether your giving/receiving tank is full or not, pick one thing you can do this week to add to another’s mosaic. Find out what speaks to that person’s soul, and tap into that. And then open your heart to receive, too. Let’s pitch in some pieces to make our lives extraordinary works of art.


Everything Beautiful

Have you ever tried to make something beautiful? Maybe you’re an artist who can’t quite get the painting the way your heart’s eye sees it…or a writer who’s dug through thesaurus after thesaurus and called down all her Muses…or a composer who’s almost finished with a new piece but wrestles between two last notes…

Or maybe you’ve been in situations where you felt like you had to take the reins and make it all beautiful. In your time. Your way. And it gets screwed up every time.

But God, Who works outside the boundaries of timelines and deadlines, has set eternity in our hearts. Luke 6:45a (NASB) says, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good…” With all that beautiful eternity in our hearts, we have to choose to let God do the work. In HIS time, not ours. And Scripture says that when it’s all said and done, we won’t even be able to fathom what God has done from beginning to end – like looking at a timeline and being unable to see the notches for each heart-changing, circumstance-altering, life-beautifying event because of all the eternity in our hearts He is using to work “all things together for the good of them that love Him”.

We can use our muddy feet and clumsy hands to meddle and make a mess, or we can TRUST Him to take control and make it all beautiful…in HIS time. He’s a good Dad. And He won’t disappoint.