From Scraps of Paper, Beauty
by Cheryl Touryan, Colorado Women of Vision
I was in a rush! In fact, panic gripped my heart. Colorado Women of Vision had invited Sheryl WuDunn, the co-author of Half the Sky, to speak in Denver and we had less than two months to prepare EVERYTHING! That seemed an impossible task, especially since the Christmas/New Year holiday fell within those two months. Before we could begin advertising, printing or announcing we needed some sort of unifying message and graphic. That job fell to me. As I racked my brain for something, it occurred to me to pray. Lord, could you help me with this, give me an idea, since this task is far beyond my ability. Miraculously, during the night a scripture verse (“He has sent me…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” Isaiah 61:3) came to me along with the thought – call Judy.
Judy Wonning is part of our Leadership Team and is also a gifted artist. I called her early the next morning, waking her as she was vacationing in Oregon. Excitedly I described my ‘vision,’ which somehow involved her ability to create mosaics. After patiently listening, she agreed to try to come up with something once she returned home. So it was that a few days later Judy presented to me her beautiful mosaic, made from colored scraps of paper, of a woman holding her child. The mosaic was so very appropriate to our theme: Beauty from Ashes. Her mosaic became the graphic theme of our event, and in fact, we even prepared a short video using the ‘mosaic’ theme to describe the broken lives we work among and the healing power of Jesus’ love to restore and make beautiful.
So – from scraps of paper to a thing of beauty! When these odd-shaped scraps are placed in just the right places, suddenly one is able to see the larger picture and it is beautiful. What is so unique about a mosaic; a collection of small pieces of ceramic or glass and yes, even paper? Unlike in paintings, little pieces are assembled together, creating a meaningful visual and often, a beautiful work of art. All the while, each individual piece retains its unique identity. People identify with mosaics because they demonstrate how many different pieces, when they work together, can create harmony and produce something beautiful.
As I consider the obedience and love that kept Jesus on that path to the cross, I can only worship and give thanks that through the sacrificial offering of himself, He opened the door for us to become part of God’s family, part of God’s story, part of something much bigger than any one of us. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God invites us to offer our small individual stories to him. Then He is able place the various pieces (stories) together within His much larger story and thus our stories become beautiful as part of something much larger, His-Story.