Finding Peace in the Pain-ting
Practicing the art of tidying up led me to a crazy artist kind of moment.
I was working on the craft closet in my office. It’s a space designed to soothe and de-stress me the way a cigarette used to.
Lately, it’s become cluttered and frantic, the way I get if I’m living too fast and too hurried to stop and notice all that is beautiful around me.
Like my daughter Natalie’s painting she did back in elementary school.
I’ve been meaning to hang it for months, but just found it buried under sheets of paisley and floral printed craft paper, some in shades of green, some in pink. They are leftover from the birdhouses I made for Chelsea’s baby shower, though Saydee Grace is four now.
Four beautiful years old.
I locked myself out of a house this week in all of my scurrying and during that rescue from a real estate colleague, I found out she lost her four year-old son in a pool accident. The unimaginable grief this life can bring makes it essential that we focus on the beautiful parts as often as possible, every day.
And so I went searching in the garage for a frame I thought would fit.
On top of the box of un-hung picture frames, was the green plastic bag that was left behind. A yearbook that’s not mine was stuffed inside, half hanging out. The words, The Time Has Come, was printed on the cover, though the time was the 70’s and I knew opening it would only slow me down. But I did it anyway.
And found more words.
A joke, scribbled in black pen, by my ex-husband on a faded yellow folded Post-It note.
It read, I’ve experienced, “more traumatic events in the time I was married than all the previous years combined. And I’m including birth and circumcision.”
We creative types jot our flash of genius, very best work on things like receipts, envelopes, napkins and gum wrappers.
I think we were only married three or four years so that’s a lot of trauma to pack into a short time period, but it’s true.
In that moment, I realized another truth and remembered something he asked the last time we spoke. “How come when I mention how horrible it was, you laugh?”
Because the time has come.
The time has come to laugh.
Which is exactly what I did when I woke up the next morning and sat down in my new thanking chair and said a quiet prayer of peace and forgiveness. Then I randomly opened my bible to Ephesians and read in chapter 2 about being saved by grace, through faith, not by works, so that no man can boast.
Trust me, he can.
But the time has still come, to laugh.
Because when I turned the page, under the heading, One in Christ, I read about birth and circumcision, and had a total bahahahaha, isn’t God hilarious, moment.
The most beautiful thing about art and life, tragedy and trauma is the way it always seems to come together on the other side, where the grace is.