Sunday, February 26, 2017

Doing Your Beautiful Thing

It is astounding how much you can learn when you aren't using words.  In the silence of my weekend retreat, I learned something about myself.  And maybe something about you, but I'll stick with the safer of the two, for now. 

On Thursday, before my retreat began, my guitar teacher published a very first audio/video recording of me singing and playing the guitar, under the heading, "Student of the Month".  If we are friends on Facebook, you were probably one of the nice people who said nice things.  Thank you.  

As I went into the weekend after my "reveal", I was acutely aware of how vulnerable I felt. During the retreat, I led the songs for each of the Masses, and afterward, was acutely aware of my mistakes and my vulnerability (again).  

A little over halfway into the retreat, considering what this vulnerability was really about, I came to a conclusion, and wrote it exactly this way:  I inherently believe in my value as a caregiver/nurturer.  I inherently disbelieve in my value as a writer/singer.

Hmmm.  Why one and not the other?

I listed a few possible answers, did a lot more soul searching, and accepted God's gift of the woman with the alabaster jar, from smack in the middle of nowhere.  

Are you familiar with her, in Mark 14:3-9?

When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper,b a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head.4
There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil?
It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her.
Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good [beautiful]thing for me.
The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me.
She has done what she could. She has anticipated anointing my body for burial.
Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
I figured that if God dropped this story in my lap, it was going to be useful to me.  And if this story was going to be useful to me, I should put myself in it.  So, I did.  It came out like this...
I came with my writing, music, and good intent - very costly, because I can see all at table but Christ. I offer what I have.  Some say to themselves, "Why is she bothering?  Why does she think this is a good idea?  Their silence feels like a reproach.  But, Jesus said, "Let them alone; why do you trouble with them?  You have done a beautiful thing to me.  You have done what you could.  
And so, I resolve to sing, and play, and write, because I can.  I want to.  I have something to offer, and I can imagine Christ being pleased with my willingness to do so, even though the vulnerability is costly.
Image result for green alabaster jar
I mentioned this briefly, as we went around the group to share something of what we received over the weekend.  In short time, several women mentioned their fear when it comes to being creative.  What if it's not good?  What if someone else could do it better?  What if no one likes it?  What if?   What if?  What if?  What if?  What if?  What if?  What if?  What if?  What if?  What if?  What if?

Their questions are my own.  But, there's another question.  A better question.  

What IF your offering of music, writing, art, food, dance, ________________  is an expression of your heart, and God loves it?!!!  

What is that thing that you can offer Christ (and the world) about which He will be able to say...

You have done a beautiful thing to me.  You have done what you could. 

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