When we’re little, before we ever make words, we make pictures. We draw a person that’s something like a circle with a face and arms coming out where the ears should be. We draw a non-descript animal with a body and four legs that causes adults to ask cautiously “it’s a horse?”. We start by drawing because we don’t know how to make words yet. That’s where I find myself since we returned from Guatemala. I can’t make words yet.
Usually I come home from a mission trip ready to tell anyone and everyone about the team and our experiences. Sharing the needs and stories of the people I meet is a constant topic of conversation for months. I’m compelled to share the details, the pictures, the names and faces, the stories of struggle, of redemption, and all the ways that God’s grace showed itself. This time is different.
Since we got back I’ve been mostly silent about the trip. Not because it wasn’t great. Not because it wasn’t painful. I just don’t have words. It’s been a struggle because I’m never really at a loss for words. It’s not that it’s too personal to share. It’s not that I’m overwhelmed. It’s because God is doing a work in me. I’m not supposed to have words yet. That’s hard. There are names and faces written on my heart and the Lord is clearly saying to me “Just sit, breath, shut up, breath, know their names and in their plight call on Mine. When it’s time to tell their stories I’ll let you know.”
Tonight I got to take a step forward. There are still no words, but there’s a picture. Whatever work is being done in my heart has started to translate into a work of art. It’s being born out of a hunk of clay. It will have rough edges and it’s going to require patience. It will be made in pieces, dried, fired, glazed, and fired again. In the end each of the pieces will be mounted to create something bigger.
I have no idea what it is.
What I do know is that there’s clay under my nails and a sweet song in my heart tonight. I know that what comes from my hands is inspired by my Creator. I know for sure that just like I’m working the clay God is working my heart. I’m excited to see what He’s doing and I’m excited to share what it inspires.