I stopped up short before grabbing the heavy black church door.
“Wow, that looks like hard work,” I said to the men bundled up on a sunny-yet-chilly late October day. As I zoomed in to drop something off at church–doing my normal, checking something off the list quick–I couldn’t help but stop and notice how these two men were lifting large piles of bricks and working on their hands and knees to slide them together into a intricate design.
Snapping a picture of the scene, I wasn’t quite sure why it intrigued me so much, this picture of two men doing cold physical labor to create something beautiful. Maybe it’s because my work is so much more covert. You don’t see the sweat running off me, or the bundled up fingers, or hear the grunt of me sliding a comma into just the right place. Writing is work, but of such a different sort. People come to the ready-made pieces and don’t see the process. There is a reason we call things like paintings and books and music “works” of art, they require effort. They require that the artist go through a sort of labor to birth this new thing into the world.
As is the case with babies, sometimes the labor is short, some times it’s long, but if God is calling you to the work, rest assured that it doesn’t start with the pretty picture. There will be bricks to move–heavy ones, sometimes bricks that we’ve put in our own way, bricks like fear, anxiety, perfectionism, pain we just can’t let go.
God does not promise us comfort–in fact just the opposite. He promises a life that follows the pattern of Jonah. If you recall Jonah was spit out by a whale in a place where he didn’t want to be. Awesome. Why did I sign up to be a Christian again?
All joking aside, perhaps the beauty lies in standing in the creative tension, in loving the labor and knowing that even though we can’t quite see the full picture yet, that we’re putting our brick in for today. I don’t believe that God calls us to “some-days” and grand plans as much as he calls us to small acts of love today, in our life situation right now.
You can see the work or you can see the beauty that’s unfolding all around us. And perhaps the bricks seem a bit lighter when we realize we’re not being called to lift them on our own. In John 4:36 it says both the sower and the reaper will be glad together. I see that as a call to adventure, to take the courage God is offering me today to move my brick, and play a small part in the story God is telling to our world.
#201. Seeing people literally working and walking on the cross.
Day 13 Challenge:
Create something. Many people say they’re not the “artsy type,” but we’re all creators. Make a meal, make someone’s day, make a craft–and do it in the spirit of thanksgiving, giving back what we’ve been given by overflowing to others.
Evi (say it like Chevy) Wusk is a mom, teacher and lover of words and licorice. Her work aims to reimagine and honor schools, businesses, and churches through gratitude. Evi lives in small town, Sterling, Nebraska with her hubby, Ralph, and kiddos, Charli and Oliver. Connect with Evi at her blog and on Twitter.
Thinking about writing a book but have absolutely no idea where to begin? Join Chad Allen, Editorial Director of Baker Books, and me for “How to Get Published” – a series of three teleconferences that will cover how to create a strong book concept, how to build your platform and how to write a book proposal. The first session launches a week from today (Monday, November 17!). Click here for details and registration information.