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Friday, August 26, 2011

Sabbath Rest--Meditations on an Empyt Jar

Some things are lovely for a season, but then they are gone.

Other things are lovely seasonally...but for most of each year, that loveliness is hidden away.

Some things are lovely longer because they are displayed together in appealing collage, but you must go to some effort to see them and be enriched by them.

But some things--like glass canning jars with broken rims--aren't lovely at all. They can't hold a seal. They've utterly lost their purpose.


...someone gets creative.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Corrie ten Boom, in her devotional Each New Day tells this story:
I once saw a church that was really no more than a ceiling--here it was canvas, there it was metal. The people told me that once they had a beautiful brick church, but they were in a country where Christianity was not allowed, and someone burned down the church.
I told them I was sorry they had lost their building, but they smiled. "God does not make mistakes. Some time ago," they said, "there was an earthquake on a Sunday morning. A thousand people were under this ceiling. Had we been in a brick building, many would have been injured, but this ceiling just quaked along with the earthquake and no one was hurt."
O Lord, thank you that Your side of the embroidery of our life is always perfect. This is such a comfort when our side is sometimes so mixed up.

By the time we are even a short way into adulthood, we see that how we are "recycled" is a great mystery. I've also used the cracked jar for catching squash bugs. Did that jar wonder at its purpose as I filled it with soapy water, carried it to the garden, and started dumping bugs into it? Does it mind it's purpose being humbled like that? Is it only happy as a vase in a summer window, thinking it is only valuable when it supports great beauty? Or does it grump at being anything other than a canning jar, refusing to release its original purpose and fixating on its cracked rim as the ruin of all its value?

More importantly, do I see whcih of those jars...is me?

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