Sweet Work of Love
Two weeks ago, before baby and Thanksgiving, I posted Jean Lappinga's first entry in The Parables Art Pilgrimage at Cornerstone Festival. And the following Friday my reflection, FWIW. Some of you commented that the reason you do not respond is that you never were good at drawing meaning from art. I had always put myself in that category, which makes this self-imposed exercise a true leap of faith. However, it has been fun to jump into it each time and see what happens.
Sweet Work of Love
The artist took on two of the Luke 15 trilogy of parables on recovery: the lost sheep, and the lost coin.
I was surprised by the title she gave this piece, then realized how beautifully it speaks of God's Grace, which is what going after the lost ones is all about.
As I read the verse in twenty-eight versions (yes, 28 in all, including English, Spanish and French), the three-step search process became so obvious: turn on the light; clean thoroughly, one version says 'turn the house upside down'; and look carefully, persevering until you find the lost object. And then it hit me that this could describe our year and also be a recipe for the future.
Let me explain, we both retired mid year and have been searching, going after what we had been missing, trying to identify our gifts and dreams, and above all pursue God's purposes for our lives and remaining years.
That requires Light, to really be able to see and understand what that might be. Then comes the cleaning, to align everything in that direction. That is the overwhelming aspect for me, I have so many areas where I need to get my house in order, i.e. get rid of accumulations from my past life and work. I can easily become discouraged.
The woman in the drawing is squatting, getting down to the nitty gritty of the search for something she has lost and values highly. The task is enormous but can only be tackled one section at a time and there is nothing easy or simple about it. I find it interesting that the broken-tile design the artist chose, makes it all the more difficult to detect one lost coin. But the story says that she does not give up till she has found what she is looking for.
All three of the parables end in a joyous celebration. The artist chose to emphasize the process, the search, and leaves out the verse about the party with the neighbors and friends.
The explanatory plaque adds another reference from Proverbs 2:4-5 "and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. about the serious and intentional pursuit of wisdom, insight, understanding."
So, that's where we are: both step by step finding our place in retirement; working at it intently, and enjoying the process!