31 Dec Tapestry
January is often the time of year when we look back and can’t believe how quickly we got from January to December. Looking back we often quickly characterize what we see – one that looks like Option One or one more like Option Two.
And while looking back, we usually cannot resist the temptation to compare ours to others’. Isn’t it true how often we think other people’s lives tend to look like Option One in this image – and how often we think ours looks like Option Two?
The reality for most of us is that our lives DO look like Option Two. We may never understand some of the twists and turns and back tracks that were necessary to get us to the end game. The song, “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks comes to mind. It can take a while to be grateful for the unanswered prayers as much as the answered. Life really is a tapestry; and the reality of a tapestry is that it is BOTH a magnificent front AND a knotted mess behind.
This past weekend I spent time with a woman who is full of joy, full of optimism, full of enthusiasm. From the outside she has an incredibly easy life with no setbacks or visible emotional or physical scars. An enviable life to many. But if you flip the tapestry over you learn that only a year ago she was at death’s door on life support with each organ shutting down. As she fought her way back to life doctors predicted that she’d never walk again including other major complications.
But that’s not what happened.
Everyone who meets her from this point forward will never know the messy side of her tapestry; they only see this incredibly beautiful woman with the “perfect life.” We all know countless stories of recovery from past wounds and rock bottom rebounds. Everyone has a story, but most often we don’t consider their backstory.
Jesus encourages us not to judge – only to love. When we meet someone, we don’t know whether we are getting a peek at the messy back of their tapestry or if we are seeing the beautiful front created through grace and determination to finish each individual stitch.
As we begin 2017 let us live in grace for everyone we meet; knowing that we all in some way look like Option Two. Let us live in gratitude for the unknown and grateful the Master’s work on our life’s tapestry. In doing so, I fully expect we will all come to understand the masterpiece that He is creating in all of us.