Made Things

Lost in a Painting

     The fibrous swish, swish, swish sound of denim on denim accompanies my ears on this quiet morning. Squirrels balance lithe-like along the fences, stopping with their bounty, munching morsels in their tiny rodent hands.

     The birds are waking up, calling to one another with tree songs high up in the branches while I make my way through the woods.

     The thwap, thwap, thwap of small weeds tap-tap-tap against my shoes as they slap on canvas and rubber while I step back onto the path.  The way here is only 12 inches wide, a people-made foot path worn well on summer mornings such as this.  No grass grows in the small span, just a gravelly crunch and occasional buried pebbles provide percussion for my soles.
     I take off my glasses to rest my eyes, tucking them shirt-wise at my neck.  I can see only what’s right in front of me at my feet—bright blue laces, double-tied, gray on gray lines across the canvas accentuate the design. Up ahead is a blur, trees and shrubs, grass and flowers all mottled and muted edge, like walking into Janet Archer’s “Village Games”, a painting I recently saw.
     I’ve been thinking about calling lately—my calling in particular—and agonizing at the time available to pour into what I love—writing and ministry and connection with women. When we think about ‘calling’, God’s call on our lives, perhaps we imagine it as an ‘out there in the future….something Big and Amazing.”


There is a tension between the want-to’s and the reality of life that is just so daily. Alas, I do not live in a mansion with servants who will bring me a cup of tea when I want, holed up in my writing room with my candles and books and paper. 
     No, I live in a real world where the deck must be painted and the floors cleaned and the grandchildren tended to, the one where the garbage must be taken out and the leaves from yesterday’s storm need raking.
     Instead of lamenting the fact that “life is so daily”, I’m reminded of a quote I read about calling the other day, “Just do whatever is in your hand to do today. That is your calling.”
     I envision the world of The Painter, His strokes dabbing my presence into His World, allowing me to see the beauty and share in morning walks in his world. I also remember—I can only see what’s right in front of me today—the world at my feet. 
     The future ahead isn’t clear, hasn’t come into view, because I’m not there yet.
     So today I’ll do what’s in my hand to do, which includes domesticity of every kind, and dream of the beautiful days not just ahead, but right now, thankful for eyes to see, even with my glasses off, ears to hear and a heart that is ever bending towards truth.
What do you see?
Linking with Jen and the SDG Sisters
and Jennifer for

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  • Jody Lee Collins

    What you have in your hand is your calling….amen. God bless you in your time with your granddaughter!


    I'm spending a good bit of my time these days babysitting our granddaughter. By the world's standard, that task is rather mundane. But she's two–a very impressionable age. There are important truths and attitudes to instill, including the beginnings of faith in Jesus. Your post is a great encouragement to me, Jody. What I have in my hand these days IS my calling!

  • Jody Lee Collins

    Oh, the Phillips translation is awesome, agreed. Thanks for your encouragement, Monica, and for reading.

  • Jen Ferguson

    This is a really powerful post on calling – a whole new perspective that I hadn't considered. Perhaps we could run this for #SDGConnections?

  • Kel Rohlf

    I really enjoyed being able to see hear and experience your walk today….I am seeing how important it is to live in the here and now…ministering by being present with the others of my daily life

  • Elizabeth

    So vivid. You paint with your words in a lovely way. Thank you for sharing. Encouraged by this.

  • Laura Boggess

    Very nice, Jody. Whatever is in my hand. I try to live this way. It's not always easy.

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