” . . . I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, “Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.” And the artist either says, “Be it unto me according to Thy word,” and willingly becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses; but the obedient response is not necessarily a conscious one, and not everyone has the humble, courageous obedience of Mary.” —Madeleine L’Engle
You know, Jesus taught we should be faithful about the little things. So many little things happen in the life of a mom. So many things can be done faithfully, artistically, as unto God. Or they can just be “done with” and dismissed.
Of course, sometimes we must rush.
Sometimes we must hurry through the granola bar and wash it down with a cola on our way out the door to something that won’t wait. It happens.
But contrast two churches that typically provide a meal, after a member’s funeral, for the grieving family: At one, the women organize and cook delicious but simple foods such as casseroles and salads and iced tea and coffee; at the other they pick up cold cuts and bread at the bulk store and serve with pop or water. In each case, the families are thankful to receive a chance to eat and fellowship together, but which is typically artistic? Which is typically as unto the Lord?
It’s about time.
It takes a bit more time, true, if we want to bless those around us. No matter where we serve, we constantly must choose:
Gifting our loved ones with artistic living often takes so little time, though, that it is a pity when we neglect it.
Pressing the “I Love You” into the bread before toasting it takes exactly one second. If we can find the tool.
Clicking “print”, addressing an envelope, and walking to the mailbox takes about 3 minutes. If we have our shoes on.
“Sure. C’mon over for coffee,” takes 2 seconds. If we have a few cookies in the freezer and the living room is not an obstacle course.
It’s about forethought.
Putting things away, dressing and readying for the day when we rise, eating less and freezing more — such simple habits, such worthy habits, belong in our lives. They make for art in our lives.
We must choose whom we will serve.
- Will we do our best or not?
- Will we plan ahead?
- Will we do without so that we may do more?
- Will we care?
I imagine the angel came to Mary at night as she lay sleeping. There’s half a chance it did.
What if she’d groaned and rolled over so she could get more sleep?
We have the gifts of God at our disposal. We have been so blessed. Even our work is blessed. Let’s not fear being a tool in God’s hands.