When life takes you by surprise

Art is the stored honey of the human soul,
gathered on wings of misery and travail.
~ Theodore Dreiser ~
I spent a day that might have been spent at the research conference traipsing through art museums with the girls instead. Life is what happens when your plans tank and you find yourself without even a plan B. Life is what gathers you up in a bear hug when you scramble to survive.


Small heads tilted to see big art. Minds free from adult constraints find new meaning in old pieces and old meaning in new ones. I am reminded of a hundred museum trips of my youth, and marvel at how I am mirroring my own childhood now as I shape that of my own children.

I know only one true North: Christ. I see it in the false compass of an artist, in the childish splatter of a museum's modern art collection. Amy tells me, "I could paint this. But I would put more yellow in." I watch life whisking by, and I think, "I could paint this. But I would use more yellow." I see friends die, and children suffer, and senseless tragedy occur. And I think about how I would do it - better.

And by my sin, by my pride, sin enters the world and refills the endless river of sin that has flowed from the hearts of men since time began.

More yellow? Less tragedy? In the world we live in, you are told your dreams will come true, you will live happily ever after, you won't lose your job if you work hard enough, you can pay back your mortgage if you invest in a home, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Really?

When I sob like I've never done before, I am tempted to rail at him, to beg for a little more yellow. But I am just a flawed creation, and who am I to question the Creator? (Isaiah 64) If anything good ever comes of me, I give it back to God, for it by His strength anything good is accomplished (Philippians 4:13). And when I am strong, let the weak see, and credit it to the God I serve (Joel 3).

*If my blog seems dark, let me explain: we lost a very dear friend to a motorcycle accident on Friday (he was 43). I dropped Aaron off at the E.R. last night for fluids again because he is still sick, and went home to hug my Grandpa for what turned out to be the last time. He went home to Jesus around 3 a.m. after a few days of battle with widespread malignant melanoma. I listened to some of the last few beats of his heart with my stethoscope. Today Aaron was admitted to the hospital with colitis, abdominal bleeding, and an infection of his stomach and intestines of unknown origin. He is on morphine and Dilaudid to control his pain, IV fluids, and antibiotics. He continues to shake uncontrollably and have uncontrolled bursts of 10 out of 10 pain and watery diarrhea. Please pray for his healing!