Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Shape of Sacrifice

Almost every day, I have to sneak a handful of paper art out to the recycling bin. I just don’t have enough space to keep every scrap that enters my house, no matter how lovingly it was created.

In that stack of paper is usually at least one princess drawing. Ever since my oldest daughter learned to write, there is often a card saying “I love you MOM.” Right now, the papers have a great many eggs. Colored eggs cut out carefully and arranged in basket cut-outs, still dripping glue. Tissue paper eggs, glitter eggs which shed all over my car seats and house, string art eggs, eggs painted with tempura paint. There are bunnies, too, some of which are bunnies only because one daughter or other declares it to be so.

The bunnies and eggs are for Easter. Springtime. A time when the world comes to life, and the Savior broke the bands of death. I try and fail to find the reality of death, rebirth, and life eternal in the colorful and sparkly symbols. It is hard for me to put how I feel about Jesus Christ in words.

I don’t remember when I first felt the reality of Jesus Christ. I know I was young. But I do remember feeling God in the wind, in the trees, the luxurious crumble of soil, the insatiable march of ants, in all the small things that I buried myself in. God, for me, has often been shaped by the things around Him, as if He is too much to understand directly. I can see what He does, and so I can see what He is.

Learning about Christ, how God allowed His most beloved Son to give me the gift of Himself so that I might see the way, blindly feel out the path back to Him, changed me. It has changed me from the moment I was old enough to see the shape of sacrifice.

Because I see what He has done, I want more than anything to hear Him say, "well done." I want to go home to Him. I want to be willing and cheerful. I want to love what He loves, to learn what He knows.

I don’t know what to write about Christ, except that because of Him, I know what love is. When I dishonor His gift by being unkind, impatient, and ungentle to the people He loves, it grieves me. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever learn to love as He does. If I will ever really learn to freely forgive.

I look into the recycling bin, bits of colored paper and glitter scattering the bottom, sticking to the sides. I do not keep all of the art my children bring home, but every piece is beautiful because is a part of them, made manifest on paper, in glitter and paint.

He has given me a gift beyond any price, beautiful and flawless, and I offer Him a homemade macaroni present, glue dripping from the corners, with a badly spelled “I love you” written out in rainbow glitter, surrounded by bits of construction paper bleeding dye. I see my offering and feel ashamed.

But in His face is the truth. It doesn’t matter how pitiful my gift is, only that I made it.


  1. Replies
    1. I really loved this beautiful post, I truly felt the spirit. It was free form all forms of unkindness. This is a refreshing change from your “who has done/who is doing me wrong” posts.

  2. Amen. This is just lovely!


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