Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘sorrow’

Etching the Heart

 

“Make your hearts firm because the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

James 5:8

One of my favorite crafty art projects is called crayon etching.

You begin by taking a plain white piece of paper, any size will do.

 I will use my heart today in place of paper…not a young child’s heart…not a well seasoned heart…just a heart open to all the possibilities friendship has to offer.

Next you gather crayons of every color.

The heart explored all that was new and good in this loving relationship…it took in every little nuance…each twinkle in her eye…the curve of her mouth in a warm smile…and the joyful sound of her laughter.

 The more colors the better.

We joined together the hearts of our families bringing together every color possible under the rainbow…it was glorious…sharing together around the table…playing games late into the night…sharing funny stories.

  Now you begin to color the paper with one color at a time pressing as hard as you can.

Our two hearts reveled at each opportunity to bring more colors into our souls’ consciousness…we had so much precious time together…sometimes filled with hurried busyness…sometimes simply sitting in silence enjoying the sunset.

 The whole idea is to get the paper saturated with as much color as possible.

The more opportunities to share together the more saturated our hearts became with the vibrant colors of our beings…the colors filled up our hearts and overlapped with such vivid brilliant color…it was almost magical.

 It should feel slick as the wax builds up from the crayons.

As our hearts became “slick” with the love of our friendship…they also came to an understanding of unconditional love…an acceptance of the short comings of one another…a knowing that we would always be there for one another.

 When you have completed this step no white paper should be visible.

Our hearts are now filled with so much love… only the colors of love can be seen; by all who observe from near and far.

  Oh, and one word of caution I forgot to tell you; there is one color you may not use, black.

The heart was happy not to use the color black. But now the heart is beginning to feel as if it is being covered in black and there is nothing it can do to stop the black from coming. The heart tries to only look for the beautiful colors, but it gets more difficult each time the hearts are together now. My heart tries to comfort her heart as best as it can…mostly no words are necessary. Even if my heart can no longer see the vivid colors I know they are there underneath the black…for together we completely filled our hearts with vivid colors.

 The color black is not used when you color your white paper…

 I know the other bright happy colors are there, but the color black absorbs and obscures all other colors. 

  …you will see why later…

 In this craft project you have one more step. In this step a new colorful picture emerges as you carefully scratch away the black crayon little by little. Little by little the scratching reveals a “new” picture. This “new” picture becomes intensified because of the black.

 My heart does not yet know when or even if this black will be able to be scraped off.  I can only hope that when it happens the new etching revealed will be equally as beautiful.  Patiently we wait, trust, and struggle to believe.

 

 

For my heart the color black
is Sorrow…
 an emotion of great sadness associated
 with loss or bereavement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Soul Stirrings: Joy within Sorrow

 

Nestled within our penitential season of Lent is the wonderful solemnity of the Annunciation. As I was trying to absorb the depth of Mary’s ‘yes’ I was struck by the church’s timing. Here we are well into Lent, a time of renewal… A time of repentance for our inability to love as we should… A time for true change. And what does the church give us, but the joyful Annunciation. What an example of renewal, love, and change. The Annunciation during lent to me represents joy within trials and sorrow. When the angel revealed to Mary, a young girl, that God had chosen her to be the mother of the messiah, she had to renew her commitment; willing to do the will of God. She was blessed with abundant grace and the capacity to love beyond measure. Little did she know then how much this love she felt in her soul would be pierced with immense sorrow. That blessed day Mary’s life changed forever and her body truly became the temple of the living God, Jesus.

My mind is flooded with images of the Passion. My heart is saddened by Mary’s sorrow as she must stand by and witness unspeakable assaults on her precious son. I see the exquisite image of the Pieta…Mary tenderly holding the lifeless body of her beloved Son. Mary’s joy at the angel’s announcement is somehow entombed within this season of lent. But yet we often hear of the many joys that can be found within pain and sorrow. Some even consider these gifts.

Reflecting on the Annunciation during Lent is a reminder to always be mindful of the joys in our life.

Celebrating the Annunciation during Lent is a reminder that even when we are struggling with life and draped in purple cloth joy can still be found.

 

Every year during Lent; we have the opportunity to renew our commitment, love more, and change our heart. Mary had one moment in time when she embraced the ultimate commitment to love more and she was forever changed for us.

Where have you missed the joy in your life?

Has sorrow instead overshadowed the joy in your life?