Art fairs have always been an attraction for me because they have held the prospect of finding a truly one-of-a kind treasure; but last Sunday I came home from the Webster Groves Art Fair with much more than I had hoped for—something priceless.
Customarily, Sundays have been my day for church worship and along with the congregation, meeting with God. As wonderful as that morning’s service had been, for whatever reason, that afternoon I quickly descended into a pit. Perhaps it was because that week was an anniversary of my husband’s going to His eternal home and the reminder that I was now alone, a single, a widow. That day, the art fair offered a distraction.
Walking on the grounds, I was struck with life happening all around me: the smells of exotic food, the sounds of lively music coming from all corners, the variety of God’s image-bearers and most amazing, their creativity. Some of the artists’ work were fabulous examples of “out of the box” creativity.
After wandering a bit, enjoying the day, I noticed in one of the kiosks a little plaque with a famous artist’s quotation: “Creativity is outrageous.” At first I thought maybe that meant shocking, edgy; but I came to realize there is another slant to the word outrageous: “excessive, beyond reason.” That reminded me of the message I had heard earlier in the day about God’s excessive, beyond-reason work to set His love on the likes of me. He is the original Out-of- the-Box Thinker.
Throughout human history, He did some outrageous, unthinkable things—things like parting the Red Sea to walk His people across on dry land out of reach of their slave-masters; orchestrating a seven-day march around Jericho to bring down the city walls; and most outrageous of all, to come as a baby to ultimately save us from ourselves by dying for us on a bloody cross.
That thought about God’s outrageous work began to take shape on a personal level when I happened upon the spectacular work of a jewelry designer from Nashville. Using remnants of old jewelry, joining them together with new elements, adding some colorful gems and forming them in fun, asymmetrical designs, this gifted lady had created some truly stunning pieces of jewelry.
Marveling at her work, it began to dawn on me that the Supreme Artist in His outrageous, unpredictable, incalculable ways, is carefully, skillfully re-fashioning my life; taking the ashes of my life and bringing beauty out of the ash heap for the display of His glory.
Clinging to my purse, I headed for home, treasuring the thought that my Lover, the Lover of my soul, had shown up at an art fair to remind me that, to Him, I am much more than a widow; I am His precious Bride. We can go to the ends of the earth and He will find us there. How might the Creator be bringing beauty out of the ashes in your life? (Isaiah 61:3)