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The Exquisite Mosaic of Affliction

blog 07-12-17 two mosaic 4th pieceThere are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”   Anaïs Nin

I’d like to think I’ve acquired a modicum of wisdom in my half-century of living, although I still, admittedly, have much to learn.

I’ve traversed so many valleys and raging rivers it seems I should be lying in a ditch somewhere, devoid of life.

blog 07-12-17 two mosaic 1st pieceYet, here I stand. Working, laughing and loving. My wife and I hand-in-hand, watching a movie together. My grandson and I clashing with wasps in the barn. My son and I going to rock concerts together.

One concept of following Christ which I treasure is His ability to create beauty from ashes.

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory (Isaiah 61:3).”

We experience the assault of tragedy, agony or surgery, which we swear will blog 07-12-17 two mosaic 2nd piecedestroy us.

Yet somehow it doesn’t. Our spirit grows stronger, wiser, and we move on.

Our financial situation changes, and we feel as if we’ve been abandoned in the cold to perish.

But we don’t. Things get tight for a while, yet we stumble through it.

And grow a little wiser.

You lose a child, the worst emotional torture imaginable, and know it will surely consume your entire being. The grief and sickness are so acrid, so jagged, your very soul bleeds nothing but sadness for weeks, months, years.

Yet, somehow you trudge on. In fact, not only do you survive, but somehow, in some blog 07-12-17 two mosaic 3rd pieceincredible, breathless, astonishing manner, you even thrive.

Some of us even discover our past can embolden friends and strangers. We unearth a fire we never knew existed, and singe others, who in turn, are invigorated.

It’s actually a miracle of the highest order: that “thing” the Devil sent to weaken us actually strengthens us (and others), the pain adding layers to our spirit, empowering us bit by bit, piece by piece.

Until one day we finally see what God was up to when he allowed all the pain and misery and heartache and depression and anxiety to be heaped upon us like burning coals…



blog 07-12-17 two mosaic


(This and many other amazing mosaics can be found on the Absolute Arts website:


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