Wednesday, May 4, 2011
May Is For Mosaic
National Cathedral - Washington, DC
I do not write my posts in advance, so what comes out on this written page is pretty much what's on my mind at that point in time. I'm a very early riser and my quiet time comes first. Generally, whether I write and what I write comes from something brought to mind during those moments of quiet time. I have loved beginning each new month with a word that helps me define my goals for the month and provides encouragement for this journey we call "life!" But I must confess that I am in a mighty struggle right now and May's word has remained hidden.
Not once, but TWICE from two totally unrelated sources, the word "mosaic" appeared in my reading this morning. That was enough to get my attention because I believe that the things revealed to me through my morning quiet time are not random. The first mention was in yesterday's reading from the book I have mentioned many times, "Bread For the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith" by Henri Nouwen. These short meditations are so full of truth that if I happen to miss a day I always go back the following day and catch up. Mr. B and I had an appointment at 7:10 yesterday morning so I was reading yesterday's meditation today. Again, I do not believe that was by chance.
Here is part of that reading: "A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself."
A few minutes later, I was reading the next chapter in a book I am working my through and will write much more about in the future. Until this morning, I had not even planned to mention it until I wrote about it. But right there, on page 145, of Lysa Terkeurst's book, "Made To Crave" was this sentence: "A mosaic is a work of art made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny, broken pieces of glass or ceramic tile."
And when I read that rather unusual word for the second time in less than a hour, I understood that this needed to be my word for May. Because it seems my life is in a thousand pieces, some wonderful, some troubling, some exciting, some difficult, some disturbing and yes, some just plain depressing. And by the end of May, I'd like to work these pieces back into a work of art that is beautiful both from a distance and at close range.
All the beautiful mosaics in the world must be polished, cleaned, refurbished and occasionally even taken apart from time to time. Maybe I'm in the midst of one of those occasions! But I've stood from a distance and seen the mosaic of my life when the pieces were fitting together beautifully and I've also learned that even then, when viewed close up, the flaws are easy to spot!
Here are some of my "pieces." This time around, the prednisone has done a number on me. The dosage was for twenty days and between the side effects of the medication and the large number of events where food was not in my control, I simply have no fight left within me. But yet I also knew that one ALWAYS has some control over what they choose to put in their mouth, so even knowing the medication was making things difficult, another piece is the self-disgust that has come with knowing I've gained several pounds in a matter of days. Then there is the "piece" which reminds me I am leaving on a six week trip which tempts me to just let loose and deal with the consequences when I return. That "piece" isn't even ME - it's someone else who is inhabiting my body right now. I NEVER look at healthy eating as something which stops while we travel. There are many other "pieces" too personal to put even in the privacy of this blog, but they are very real and very frustrating to me.
I was fighting so hard for something that might help me make sense of all this and provide encouragement to turn it around. And there it was - my "mosaic" and a whole month to work on my pieces one by one.
But there is a larger "mosaic" upon which I can lean. That is where the word "community" enters. And I am so thankful for the many communities which give me strength. Look again at the absolutely stunning stained-glass mosaics in today's picture. This is only three of several found in our National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Made up of thousands of individual pieces, how beautiful they are. I have so many "pieces" in the form of family, friends, and YOU, my blog friends. When "pieced" together and viewed both from a distance and close-up, there can be no better picture of strength and beauty.
Thank you - ALL of you! My "mosaic," though a tad fragile today, will look different by the end of the month!