The Artistry of Grace

September 2nd 2015 No comments yet  

color pigment shavingsToday, my daughter didn’t want to go to school. Crying, she expressed her fears about the playground, about how the kids were mean to her. My parental mind ran the spectrum of how to “turn this around,” how to salvage the morning—how to at least get everyone in the car. How to help her when I knew I could not be the direct source of aid. There were a lot of tears, hugs, anecdotes, encouragements, threats, responsibilities, some chasing, and a sock lost under the car in the process.

Finally on the way to carpool with tear-streaked faces, we talked about how, no, we can’t just stay home, though every shred of me wanted to throw the car in reverse and flee with her. As we were about to stop, the only worthwhile thing that I had to say finally came out of my mouth: maybe God was using her to be His helper. I told her that because she knew what it felt like to be lonely, maybe God would use her to find and play with other lonely kids.

I watched her little hand plant firmly in that of a loving teacher, both of us trusting the teacher would help her through her fears and the day, and I drove away. But that one thought of God using a discouraged, lonely child on the playground to recognize and help ease another’s pain is still wrapped around my brain.

We aren’t a bunch of stumpy, blunt crayons, and God isn’t a five-year-old; He uses us even if we are broken. As if we are shattered, colored glass or crushed pigment, His artistry makes us more beautiful as He puts us back together in a new and wonderful way. He makes us interesting and develops in us wisdom and the ability to recognize the small cracks forming in others’ lives. He teaches us to appreciate the forming beauty, and He gives us the opportunity to encourage others as they are reformed.

Sometimes, it is hard to be thankful for hardship, but 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to be thankful in all circumstances. I received an update from my daughter’s teacher this afternoon, and after hearing that she was able to run away today holding hands and giggling with a friend—I am truly thankful.


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