Monday, April 10, 2017

Beauty Unlike Any Other~

To an unknowing eye,
it looks anything but beautiful.
But, when you know the heart
behind the one
who did it,
it is beauty unlike any other.

For the last few days,
on again, off again,
an afternoon here and a quick hour or so there,
I have been meticulously hand-picking wood chips -
millions upon millions -
from our rock landscaping.

It's a natural thing that happens
when you marry a mountain-loving man
and move him into your desert home,
surrounded by a yard full of rocks
where pine trees and wildflowers should be.

It's what can be expected
when you marry a wood-hauling, wood-chopping man
and place him in a place
where the only place he can chop wood is
the place where only rocks upon rocks can be seen.

Only now -
they can't.
Only now -
they are buried under wood chip after wood chip after wood chip.

To an unknowing eye,
it looks anything but beautiful.
I know this because comments from well-meaning people have spoken it loud and clear.

"I'd be happy to help you with this.
It won't be hard to move this wood and get this yard looking manicured and neat again"

And while I appreciate the gesture,
I truly do,
these insignificant wood chips,
in their own way,
symbolize more than an "unkept, untidy yard."
They symbolize the very heart of my man.
They are more precious to me than anyone would ever imagine.

And yet,
since not everyone sees them in the same way I do,
and since I may need to think about selling our home and putting down new roots,
I have found myself
on bended knee,
crawling through the rocks,
picking up wood chip after wood chip.

Surprisingly, this hasn't been the arduous chore
you might possibly think it would be.
Quite the opposite, in fact.

When my knees start to feel the unflinching hardness of the rock beneath,
or my back starts to feel the strain of the stretch of bending over,
or my fingers feel the prick of a splinter,
I smile and remember the reason all these wood chips are here.

If it wasn't for my man,
if it wasn't for his love of the mountains,
if it wasn't for his love of a cozy fire on a cold evening,
if it wasn't for his love for me and us sharing a home,
I wouldn't be doing this.

When my heart remembers his heart,
picking up wood chips becomes a labor of love.

And most surprisingly of all,
it is in this lowly position
of knees bent on stony rock
that my heart has been able to see the love of my Jesus
from a view unseen and unnoticed until now.

During His life on earth,
Jesus meticulously and painstakingly followed the path
laid out for Him before the foundation of the world.

It's a naturally thing that happens
when the Lover of our soul
moves into a sinful world,
surrounded by people full of stony hearts
where hearts of flesh and love should be.

It's what can be expected
when you take a heart-loving, soul-saving Savior
and place Him in a place
where the only place He can save a soul
is the place where only a cross will do.

To an unknowing eye,
the cross of Calvary looks anything but beautiful.
We know this because comments from well-meaning people have spoken it loud and clear.

For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God's grace] it is [manifestation of] the power of God.
~1 Corinthians 1:18 (Amp)

And yet,
when His heart broke as He saw His mother weeping,
when His spirit pleaded "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they are doing,"
when His flesh tore and His blood flowed,
when His body bore the weight of the sins of the entire world,
He remembered why He had walked here among us,
why He was now hanging upon these two wooden beams.

If it wasn't for His want to take our stony hearts and replace them with a heart of flesh,
if it wasn't for His desire to give us life and life more abundant,
if it wasn't for His passion to free us from the grip of sin and death,
if it wasn't for His purpose to ransom and redeem His people,
if it wasn't for His all-consuming love for you and me,
if it wasn't for His surrendered will to His Heavenly Father,
He wouldn't have done it.

When His heart remembered each of our hearts,
enduring the suffering and the shame of the cross
became a labor of love.

To an unknowing eye,
the cross of Calvary looks anything but beautiful.
But, when you know the heart
behind the one
who hung upon it,
it is beauty unlike any other.









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