Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Today I was invited to a friend's house to learn how to make Ukrainian Easter Eggs.  I was excited about this for a few reasons: 1. it would get me out of the house ... especially on the 3rd snow day in a row and 2. it would be a chance to spend time with someone I have been wanting to spend time with and get to know. and 3. it was a chance to learn a new craft ... I really enjoy being creative.

As we were making the eggs, I said a few times ... 'there's a story here.'  And there is.  A few times tears sprang to my eyes as I thought of the story that was there.

The Egg - to make these eggs, you have to start with an empty shell.  I didn't help with this part, but the thought of blowing out an egg ... forcing all the life out of the shell to make it empty so it could become something beautiful.  Sometimes it feels like God has to force the life that we know out of us to make us into something beautiful.  I was cautioned though, that oftentimes the shell will crack when trying to blow it clean. I that feeling ... We sometimes feel as if we have cracked and are useless.

The Decorating - decorating was a process of applying wax, dipping in dye, repeat several times then clean. This was the part where I saw a story ... we are the shells. God is the artist. He is applying the wax to create a design. It isn't easy to see. Sometimes the wax burns. But it is there ... being carefully applied in a unique design. We get dipped in a dye and covered in that color then carefully dried off. You can't see the design. You don't really see what is being created. Another set of designs is being created on top of the old. This one even harder to see. And dipped in another color of dye. All of the first color is hidden. This is repeated.  You can't see the design that has been created and all the colors are covered by the next color that is darker than the last.  The egg looks like a mess. Some wax marks. Random colors. No rhyme or reason. Not even very pretty. Like life often times ... no very pretty. no reason. a mess.

Then you take the egg with it's colors and wax and hold it over a flame for a few seconds and wipe off the wax.  As you continue holding it over the flame and cleaning off the wax, the colors appear. The yellows, oranges, blues become bright and vibrant. The white is fresh and clean. But you can't see this without the flame ... the heat ... the fire. And the friction.

We need the fire to cleanse us. To help see the beauty that lies beneath. To see the wonderful design created by God in the midst of the mess.

I was told that sometimes the eggs break. If it happens early on, you are sad and maybe a bit miffed. If it happens later when the design is set and you are excited about seeing the finished product, you are heartbroken. All that work for nothing. I wonder if that is how God sees us if we break his design.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think God would be heartbroken if we break His design (ie, plan for us) regardless of what point we are along the way. He is not constrained by time. He knows our potential and what we can become from the very we are knit together. So if we choose to depart from His plan early or late, the heartbreak He feels is likely the same. And I think it must be intense. If all the angels in heaven rejoice when one sinner is saved, then just the opposite must be true when one is lost.

I went to the funeral of my 25 year old cousin today. I wish I knew if there was rejoicing or sorrow in heaven...I just don't know. To me, that was the sad part of it. But, the pastor said one thing that really stuck out. He said that, even at 25, Melissa had a full life because she had lived every day to the fullest. Chris, don't throw your life away wishing for the things that can't be. Don't let life's sorrows turn you bitter. Embrace what you have, appreciate every day, and let your sorrows cause you to enjoy the sweet moments even more.


Jan 14, 2011, 12:15:00 AM  

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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