Sometimes I feel like it’s all hanging by a thread. Just one tug in the wrong direction and life, it might just all unravel. Best laid plans once worn snuggly around your neck can suddenly become a single strand of fuzzy remembrance. What did my life look like before all this? It’s what I hear myself say, as I back onto the driveway and watch the slow descent of the garage door.
I have forty-five minutes to drive to a doctor’s appointment one hour away; in the car I’ve delayed maintaining. An appointment I made before I knew I’d be travelling to England. Before I knew my daughter would be sick and her car held hostage by a mechanic. Before my mother-in- law agreed to fly from Phoenix and land in the opposite direction.
My suitcase lays open on the chaise lounge in my bedroom, its emptiness heckles me from a distance. I removed its dirty socks and Dayspring trinkets but the smell of joy lingers in the pockets from the trip I took last week.
As I pull onto the highway, the road zips open and evergreens unfold like a children’s pop-up book. My leather van seat is an empty bench at a quiet museum; the horizon, a fine painting hanging on walls of clouded sky.
I can’t stop and I don’t have my camera. But I’m framing each piece of landscape in my mind.
Of ivy hanging on crumbling pylons, water logged tree statues, stark and naked, their bony knees stuck in still waters hued in morning sun. Tuscany’s lavender wild cousins carpeting both sides of pavement, waving southern in the wind. Birds soaring overhead like paper airplanes thrown from the tops of tall buildings, gliding and unaware of time.
Suddenly, I’m breathing slow and thankful for this quiet and solitude. I’m thankful for doctors and praying for those that don’t have access to one. I’m thankful that I’ll celebrate twenty-three years of marriage in a place that feels oddly like home, though I’ve never lived there. I’m thankful that my daughter doesn’t want to miss her chem lab, even if her head rests on the glass the entire way to school. For morning prayers together when she’s usually scurrying off alone. And for my mother in law, who makes it possible for me to experience a few days of bliss.
What I thought was hanging by a thread is actually a tapestry cupped in His hands. I just needed a few moments of silence to see it. To recognize the handprints of God.
Through praise and thanksgiving, we reflect on the transcendent nature of God – the reality that he is above all. As we look up toward God, we also can’t help but be reminded of our smallness. This shift in perspective softens our hearts, inviting us once again to lean into God’s goodness, to look up for his salvation. ~Margaret Feinberg, Wonderstruck, Chapter 009
When has God redeemed hardship in your life and transformed it into a moment of gratitude?
Today Duane Scott and I are co-hosting a book club and discussion on Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg. Link up your posts on finding the wonder of God in the everyday (they’ll show up on both our sites) and join the discussion in the comments and on our Facebook page throughout the week, Redemptions Beauty Book Club.
BOOK CLUB SCHEDULE
May 1: Chapter 008-009
May 8: Chapter 010-Final Thoughts