Past Present Future

Welcome to my new webpage. And thanks to my daughter Betsy, who understands computer meta codes, and put all this in place so beautifully for me. I plan to use this blogsite to record musings that relate to the visual work I do, and will do.

I had a dream last night, and in it I was finally weeping. My husband, oldest daughter and one of her childhood friends and I were cleaning up after a party in our old neighborhood. I was folding the table cloth together when it all hit me. Years of hard and earnest work were coming to an end. All there was to show, it seemed, were crumbs on the floor.

I am reminded as I ponder this now of a story that always moved me deeply. Jesus, after feeding thousands, asked his disciples to go and pick up the leftovers. And, it is recorded for us in all four gospel accounts, as if this accounting is important, that there were 12 baskets, each full of broken pieces. Why did Jesus instruct them to gather the fragments, what was there in this for them? I remember thinking once, while living in that neighborhood, that the greater miracle would be if each soul had been fully satisfied just as the last piece of bread and fish had been consumed. Why are there fragments? Why is there a mess on the ground? And why do they need to gather it? And why does it fill 12 baskets?

It seems to me in this telling that the event is not just about the present tense feeding to assuage physical hunger. They were definitely hungry- these crowds of people;  Jesus felt compassion for them, and acted. But there was more He was doing there, and the disciples would not understand it until later. This story for me has held an aching wonder. Those piles of broken pieces, of leftovers, filled a very specific number of baskets. There is a symbol of future completion in this that superintends the present mess on the ground.  He knows what He’s doing, even in things that look to me as very undone, even wasted. My work is about this wonder in the midst of brokenness. I can hardly, in fact, I cannot explain in words the deep hope that rises up in my own soul when I am fed, and my heart is again lifted to believe from this broken ground. It is a hope that is rooted in accomplished work in the past, that carries me in the present, and that will be fully realized even later still.

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