To give some background, Katie and I both went to school together and studied art, though a few years apart my taking tome off and such allowed it so that we were in the same studio together my senior year, and yet we never really connected or spent much time together. I knew of her work and had a great appreciation for her raw, natural aesthetic and her focus on process. I had always wondered why we never connected at school, so I asked if I could come take pictures of her as she worked on some of her recent projects, as a way of getting to know her and for me to do work of my own.
Now fast forward to the day of our shoot and her most current sculpture, a work still in progress, hangs on the wall in her living room. You see it every time you walk through the front door or around the corner. Each morning she would sit down for a bit and begin to sew together her and her husbands used coffee filters. She did this for a while as I sat beside her. As she began sewing you could tell this was a very meditative act for her. She explained that she saw these filters as God's abundant provision for her and Tyler. Coffee to them wasn't a necessity, it was a gift. Her act of sewing these filters together was like the practice of remembering, it was a reminder to her each morning that the Lord was providing even more than what they needed. This work and word spoke to me. In my foolishness I am continually surprised at my own ability to wonder and to forget. This work was her liturgy, and I've found myself countless times in need of this same liturgy, in need of a work for my hands that will say to my heart "be still. He already knows. He will provide, just like last time. he loves you. He isn't stingy." This liturgy was one of seeing the lavish in the little.
How often we overlook what lavish love the father has for us that he gives us more than we even need! Do I really need that latte, or that blouse, or those tickets to the baseball game, or even that extra treat in the grocery bag? No. We most certainly do not.The lines between want and need become blurred. But is our Father good and generous and full of love? And does not any good father like to give his children good gifts? Gifts that are totally unnecessary and have nothing to do with practicality and everything to do with delighting their heart? I would say yes and amen, a thousand times over.
Most of the time the vision of seeing life as lavish gift takes discipline. That seems strange at first, that seeing the gifts of God and delighting in them is a practice we have to mindful participate in day in and day out, but it does. As Americans we are use to living in such abundance without second thought, and even if we don't live in great abundance, the general American standard or dream, is to live in this kind of abundance. When abundance becomes the norm, thanksgiving is often forgotten because our desire for abundance overshadows our ability to see the gift in what we already have, it leaves us always wanting more and continually discontent with what what we have.
Its like medicine, to really receive what we already have, and to find that were more rich than we knew and more loved than we could have ever hoped.
piece to piece
giving up, giving in