When autumn comes, our family craves time spent cuddled up with warm drinks and some of our favourite movies. And not just any movies, you understand. There are “autumn movies” that we watch only in the autumn. One of them is The Fox and the Child.
It’s a wonderful fairy tale, told from a child’s perspective and it is so easy to imagine yourself as part of the story. We all were surprised not only that Georgie was so engaged in the movie, but that he was so deeply touched by it that he was inconsolable at the end of it. So inconsolable that I went in search of a small stuffed fox for him to love. And he does. They are constant companions. Perhaps he dreams of adventures on the farm with his fox.
An impromptu art lesson for my Bulgarians. They were never taught how to make art. It is clear that they desire to make art. We ALL desire to make art because we are made in the image and likeness of God. The essence of our very being is that of creator. Making art is a useful means of communication when spoken language fails. It is therapeutic.
They are learning not only how to use art materials, but also how to observe. As teenagers, they had not really learned to pay attention to how the human form, nor plants, nor anything else was made. Arms too small, bent weirdly, coming from the midsection of the body instead of from the shoulder. Trees that look like lollipops instead of like trees. In some small way I am helping them to communicate when spoken language fails.
They are showing improvement in their artworks. They practice daily. It is as though a light has been turned on in an inner room in their minds. “Aha!” And there is a rush to use their newly learned skills. It is beginning to pour out like a stream in spate.
We are finding that letting them unfold naturally was a wise decision. Forcing them too quickly would not have produced any fruit. Rushing to have them diagnosed with this or that disability before they had a chance to become themselves would have been tragic. We have had such a bumpy transition, and we still have days that are excruciatingly difficult. We tend to avoid suffering at all costs.
But in avoiding the suffering, we often miss the holiness and wholeness of life.
You can find the recipe for my Impossibly Flaky Pie Crust here.
- 1 c maple syrup (use the real thing - NO substitutes)
- 1/2 c sugar (we use maple sugar or organic raw)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 T butter, melted
- 1 T flour
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
- 1/2 recipe Impossibly Flaky Pie Crust
- 1 1/2 c walnuts (halves or chopped)
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- In a mixing bowl, blend syrup, sugar, eggs, milk, flour, and vanilla paste. Place walnuts in the crust and pour the syrup mixture over all. Rearrange nuts if needed.
- Bake 10 minutes at 450°. Reduce temperature to 350° and bake a further 30-35 minutes.
- Cool on a rack. Serve with whipped cream.
- Variation: spread melted unsweetened dark chocolate on the base of the pie crust or sprinkle dark chocolate mini chips or shards before pouring in the filling.
And unlovable, and so very broken. God sends His word to speak to your aching heart:
Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD! – Wisdom 11:22-12:2 (NAB)
His name is Love and Mercy and Goodness. He calls us all to Himself, chastises justly but with gentleness. He tenderly enfolds us in His embrace and admonishes us to do better, to try harder, to never give up. When we fall down in the mess we have made, we must get back up, dust ourselves off, clean up that mess, and try again. And again. Every single day for as many days as we are granted.
Each one of us was loved into existence by Love Himself. We are precious and worthy. We are cherished beyond reason, and above measure. In all our ugliness and failings as well as in our triumphs and joys.
God is good. So very good.