Daily Word of Grace # 48 (May 21, 2020)

A couple years ago I had the privilege of spending an afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, one of the best afternoons of my life.  Among the many landmark works of art housed there is Jackson Pollock’s 1947 “Full Fathom Five”, one of his famous “drip paintings.”  From a distance it a beautiful collage of color, but as you look more closely it becomes even more fascinating because you notice that there is much more than paint on the canvas—things you would never expect to see, not just depicted in but literally part of, a painting: buttons, coins, cigarette butts, thumbtacks, nails, and other pieces of detritus.  I was completely blown away that someone could make something so beautiful out of things the vast majority of us would simply throw away.  The title of this painting, “Full Fathom Five” is from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest in which the spirit Ariel describes a shipwreck, “Full fathom five thy father lies, of his bones are coral made, those were pearls that were his eyes” (I.ii.396-398).  God is not a throwaway God, but a restoring God who can use every bit of detritus in your life—all the experiences and parts of your life you may dismiss or mentally throw away, and yes, the shipwrecks too—to create something beautiful: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  In fact, God has reconciled, and will continue to reconcile, everything in your life through Jesus’ death on Good Friday: “Through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20).  May a different spirit, the Holy Spirit, remind you anew of that today.

Love and Prayers,