“Mom, why don’t we recycle anything?” My sweet boy asked me one day.
“Oh golly honey, I don’t need another job.” I said, as I threw away a plastic container.
“I’ll help.” He said, his blue eyes imploring me with the puppy-head-tilt.
“Oh, okay, Bubby. I’ll work on it.” I said, reaching into the trash to rescue the slimy jug.
I jumped off the recycling wagon many years ago. But when my ten year old son turned “green” on me, I decided it was time to start washing out my trash again. In the process, I unexpectedly redefined myself as an artist.
In a home bursting with children, my art world had shriveled to a few shelves in my laundry room. Diapers and home schooling curriculum took precedence over expensive art supplies. Occasionally, I would ferret a few minutes to a create something on top of my dryer. But, frustration often hindered me.
I prayed about it and realized I was not being content. My focus was on lack, instead of gratitude. I decided to be more inventive. The Lord mercifully yanked the blinders off, reminding me of the cliche’— Necessity is the mother of invention.
I began to visualize the artistic potential of vibrant candy foils, broken dishes (we have a lot of those), old jewelry and a myriad of other things I’d overlooked. Rinsed out salsa jars became up-cycled mosaic vases. I painted over tired artwork from thrift stores. I collected junk mail and free magazines for collages and altered books. I home schooled myself in the art of mixed media via YouTube and the library.
I soon recognized that God is “green” too. He doesn’t throw us away just because we’re a mess, or old, or broken. If we’ll let Him, He’ll clean us up and re-purpose us. He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Cor. 1:27). He reinvents our lives, transforming us into works of splendor and meaning. Beauty for ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) That is the heart of our awesome God.