To Every Texture

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The textures in the eastern sky this morning harmonized with those of bird chatter and song, cross-hatched color of sight and sound in the pleasantest of cool breezes. And so with the human heart, swelled with rapture at the exquisite beauty of it all, enriched with the fabric of friendship, deepened with concern for loved ones afar. To everything a season and a texture that marks us, that adds an ingredient to who we are.

What would be smooth without the tousled, straight without the ruffled, tight without the luffy? Monotone enhances brilliant hues, as does melody a dirge. Is there anything sweeter than the balm of palpable comfort in grief, or the hushed still after a storm? Through every texture of observation, experience, and emotion, the fabric of our lives is woven a bit stronger, richer. Through every time and season we grow more fully human, and have a broader understanding of our infinite God who transcends them all.

While we might prefer life to be ‘samey,’ tightly packaged and predictable, safe and consistent, it would yield us one-dimensional, and flabby in faith. How would spiritual muscles grow without hard tests, compassion without heartache, or patience without waiting? Would we strive for, or even appreciate, unity without division, forgiveness without trespass, or healing without hurt? Could we hone the ability to create solutions without problems, or to communicate and compromise without misunderstandings?

What wondrous facets we behold of our Lord’s character when we engage in the textures of life! His creativity, sense of humor, lovingkindness, forbearance, and splendor. Rather than fidget at discomfort, or question challenge, or resist God’s variety, would we delight in His personal interest in creation and handiwork in our days?

“This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas–
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!” ~Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901)

Lord, may I ever marvel at the texture You design in life, and in Your world, that glorifies Your measureless love and majesty.

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