"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits...Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle." Psalm 103
"I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken..." Psalms 37:25
32 years ago Gary and I created this stained glass window for our kitchen. It was a very fun project that led to a cottage industry, designing and crafting custom stained glass for 12 years. So much has happened since then. To quote Karen Carpenter, “We’d only just begun…” Recently, I’ve been able to get “artsy” again, with watercolor illustrations. I call them “Colors By Laurie.” I have been mulling over the idea that my life is colorful too, not unlike a stained glass window.
I have experienced the light and bright joys, as well as the “dark” events that everyone dreads. My greatest earthly happiness is my husband. He and I have partnered together to face life and that has made for some wonderful memories. The fun of watching a thunderstorm from our bedroom with the girls with the French doors wide open, “batting practice” at Lake Powell, the Murder Mystery Parties, transitioning our daughters into the hands of the men they said “Yes” to, of course all the grandkiddos, and the endless practical jokes and movie quotes. All of these have been peppered with hard times as well, and now, in the last decade I’ve had a bout with Stage 3 Breast Cancer, and a few years ago, Gary was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. We have the privilege of walking together through the “for worse” part just like the “for better” part, and though no one knows the future, I have a pretty good idea of what’s likely.
Our world could be monochromatic, but it’s NOT! I’m thankful for the variety of colors, darks, lights, textures, mass, shapes, and lines. I’m not meaning to sound like an art class, (nod to Mr. DeGrassi) but it’s true! Look around. Our world is FULL of visual variety. That’s what makes it interesting, from the clear, aqua waters of Florida, to the vivid orange sunsets over the rugged, massive Rocky Mts. Why did God make the world that way? Artist’s prerogative. He does whatever He pleases, and it pleased Him to make the world beautiful, and then, give us minds that appreciate it!
Look too long at any element, without stepping back to see the whole, and you’ll not see the story the artist intends. For optimal viewing, wait until completed. God made the universe very quickly, but we are in process. One day, we will be as He plans, Gary will have a renewed mind, able to comprehend his Creator perfectly. I will no longer be distracted by the ups and downs of life, and completely joyful and at peace forever. “Behold I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5 For this reason, I refuse to give in to self-pity or sorrow. I don’t deny that emotions are very real, but there are far reaching benefits to the dark times and I choose glean what I can from them.
If a stained glass window is all one color, it can be a nice geometric design, and that’s great, but it won’t tell a story. It needs shapes that mean something to the viewer, line so the eye can cruise around the entire composition, texture for interest, and those dark areas of contrast that make the colors stand out beautifully. People are creative, because they are created in the image of God. God is creating a beautiful thing in the lives of His people. “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—You would not believe if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5