We all know the story of the Wizard of Oz. The truth was hidden behind the curtain. The wizard wasn’t a wizard after all. Life itself bears a strange resemblance to the Wizard’s curtain. Much of God’s eternal plan, at least for now, remains hidden. This time it’s not hidden behind a curtain, it is hidden behind a tapestry, the “tapestry of life.” We need to look at what’s on the other side of the tapestry. Please read more.
Life can be chaotic. Bad things seem to happen for no reason. Our world gets all knotted up. Divorce, disease, grief, sorrow, pain and yes, of course death, all seem to inexplicably appear without warning. Why does God allow these things to happen? Any one of these things can create anxiety, depression and even lead to despair.
Why? Why? Why? This in one of life’s most perplexing and lingering questions. Why do people become addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography and sex? Why do some of our children leave the faith? Why does a gunman randomly kill innocent people? Why do some people die young? Why do tornadoes randomly destroy one home, killing the people inside and then completely spare the next home from damage? Why are so many children sexually molested? Why do so many people suffer with cancer and other dreadful diseases? Why are babies born with birth defects? Why is there so much poverty? Why have wars persisted throughout history? And this list goes on and on.
I want to offer an analogy. It will not answer the question of why, but it may cause us to look at life from a different point of view. Rarely does someone ever see the back side of a tapestry hanging in a museum. If you could see it, you would see a mess. The artistic masterpiece with its fine details so clearly visible on the front, bears no resemblance to the knots, hanging threads, tangled stitches and random colors on the back. Clearly, a tapestry is only meant to be viewed from one side.
If your first view of a tapestry was from the back side, you might be inclined to criticize the artist. Maybe you would want to try to fix it somehow. Maybe you would want to snip off the dangling threads. Doing so would be a mistake. All those loose ends and hanging threads work together to give shape, meaning and structure to the front side.
Sadly, in life, we usually only see the backside of our life’s tapestry. When we experience hard times in life, we rarely recognize their value. We might even beg God to pull some of our loose threads. God knows that doing so might unravel the masterpiece He has planned on the other side. We must trust in God! We need to stop to recognize that our knots and loose threads, yes even the bad ones, form us into who we are.
Many writers before me have used this analogy of a tapestry to provide comfort to individuals who are hurting and confused by the bad things that occur in life. One of these beautiful writings was a poem written by Grant Colfax Tullar.
LIFE IS BUT A WEAVING
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
We will inevitably encounter trials, hardships, heartache and pain. We must trust in our God. James 1:12 tells us that us that we are blessed when we persevere in trials for when we do we are made ready to receive the crown of life that He promised to those who love Him.
God is the master weaver. Not only does He weave our individual tapestries, but He also sews us all together to collectively become one large tapestry, a masterpiece known as the body of Christ.
It is good to remind ourselves with the words of Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”
Heavenly Father, life seems to make no sense when bad things happen. Send forth your Holy Spirit to embolden my trust in you. I know you will always be with me during times of trouble and weave me into something beautiful. Amen
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Don’t forget to mark your calendars
On December 6-8, 2019, I will be leading a 3 day Advent Retreat. Catholics as well as non-Catholics are welcome to attend. Fr. Ed Sheridan will join us to celebrate Catholic mass and Reconciliation will be available. Author Joseph Galloway will be giving a talk about his book The Broken Door and will be signing books. The retreat is being held at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory, NC. It’s beautiful! I hope you can join us. Click this link to sign up.