Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I need to return these, I said to a cheery cashier as I pushed a plastic bag across the counter. It’s one of those creative projects I had in my head which never quite made it into reality, I added as if to apologize. My husband already has too much on his honey-do list, and I can’t do this one without him.

Oh, I totally understand, dear. You got to do what you got to do. And this,
she pointed at the beautiful wrought iron plant brackets which I’d intended to turn into shelf brackets for our laundry room, This is NOT a necessity. This is vanity!

Ouch! That hurts. But, thanks anyway,
I smiled feebly, wondering if God is trying to tell me something through the bubbling woman on the other side of the counter.

I pondered if I was really being vain and frivolous for wanting to turn a mundane, boring room of our house which is designated for a mundane, boring task into something beautiful and surprising. The fact that I live in a country where the gods of home-improvement and interior design reign supreme among the housewives of suburbia made the thought all the more worth considering. Have I bought into the alluring propaganda that if only I had just this one little thing, my life will be complete and I will be truly happy? And what happens if my pursuit of happiness creates a few casualties along the way?

The questions placed a scrutinizing spotlight on the rarely exposed cavern of my internal motives where egotism and generosity daily wage war for my soul... where love and sacrifice wrestle with sense of entitlement and pride – do I deserve this, or do I put it on the chopping block? Do I hold on, or do I need to let go?

The answers, you see, are not always easy to distinguish. For, it is in this place that I also discovered that there are days when beauty is as necessary to me as water and air. Its scent is an aroma of heaven reminding me that life is more than food and body than clothing. And that, sometimes, the most loving thing might be to graciously accept somebody else’s sacrifice on your behalf.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Last night while we were eating dinner our daughter brought up her pet creation theory regarding the probability of co-existence of humans and dinosaurs. For several minutes she elaborated her hypothesis with a keen enthusiasm of her seven-year old mind, while the rest of the family tried hard to listen politely. At last my husband came to our rescue (or so we thought!) and interjected that he might have a word or two to add to the matter.

As he launched into a convoluted explanation fit for a college professor, our stunned daughter did her best to listen with understanding for a total of about six seconds. After that an irrepressible glazed look finally washed all over her face. To my surprise, for the remainder of the Genesis lecture her big brown eyes were fixed without a blink on her brilliant and unfathomable dad, beaming with zero comprehension and absolute adoring love.

I couldn’t help but burst into laughter as I observed the perfect analogy played out in front of our very eyes. Even though most of the time God places the cookies on a shelf where I can actually get them, still too often I find myself at a loss in trying to understand His mysterious hand. His ways go far beyond my grasp. But when my puny mind reaches its limits and a blank stare takes over my face, my heart, just like my daughter’s, can still experience the adoring love for my endlessly smart and sometimes incomprehensible, heavenly Dad.