Photos from Friends: Seeing the Beauty

the leaf that wants all the attention

the leaf that wants all the attention

Who out there has a lust for life? Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty? Psalm 34:12 MSG

A camera and a whisper from God sent me on a journey last spring . . . searching for beauty in the pain.

These are the unedited photos I took around my house–as far as I could walk at the time. I saved them in a folder on my computer, entitled  it “small victories” and gave them the captions you read here.

These pictures became the evidence of my small victories–the smallest of small baby steps away from pain and darkness into the light and life of healing.

This is the day God started to color my dark world beautiful. The day the simple, ordinary views of my life became extra-ordinary glimpses of the beauty of LIFE all around me.

This is the day I understood the scripture above–that to recover my lust for life–to experience my pain and darkness redeemed–was about eagerly searching each day for the beauty OF LIFE.

Psalm 23:6 says that God’s love and beauty chase after us every day of our lives.

This spring day last year, I finally turned around to see it.

inanimate curves of life

inanimate curves of life

pink from dry leaves

pink from dry leaves

green and growing

green and growing

growing in the clouds effects

growing in the clouds effects

necklace for a dead flower

necklace for a dead flower

grids of life

grids of life

buddies

buddies

the designs of life

the designs of life

outside the frame of life

outside the frame of life

Beauty in blues

Beauty in blues

Walk on a rainbow trail: walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty.

There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.   – Robert Motherwell

Praying for you to turn around and see the beauty and love of God chasing you, where you will find your rainbow trail, and where God colors your life beautiful each and every day.

Linda CrawfordLinda Crawford

More Photos from Friends:

Focus

The Kingdom's Perfumery

The Face of Beauty: The Time to Live is Now – Lygon Stevens

Sharing Lygon’s story again this week, meditating on the resurrection life Jesus desires for me to live.

Yes, the time to live is now. May I be such a desperate searcher and live it so beautifully . . .

I am a work of art, signed by God.

But He’s not done; in fact, He has just begun…I have on me the fingerprint of God. Never will there ever be another person like me. In all the world I have a job to do in this life that no other can do.

Can you see the fingerprint of God on me?

Lygon climbling

Lygon Stevens once carried my eight-year-old daughter. After a few bumps on her knees from tripping over shoes that were too big, a teen-age Lygon scooped her up and transformed her frustrated tears into joy.

She became a hero to me right then.

Lygon was a gentle, quiet girl who was amazingly strong in her devotion to the Lord and in her physical and mental ability to climb high–very high–mountains. Tragically lost in an avalanche in January of 2008, she would not be found until late June when the snows melted. Only her camera and journal were recovered by her climbing partner, her brother, who miraculously survived.  In Lygon’s journal, in addition to being able to read her last thoughts on earth, her family discovered the astounding beauty of her written words and her intimate relationship with the Lord.

It is my hope that whoever might read the pages in this small book would not see a victory won by greatness, or determination of self, or a uniqueness in a person that brings them to high heights…I can only Lygon journal hope that the reality of human frailty and the inability to do anything outside the will of the Lord God would be evident. This is not the account of the journeys of a young girl, no, it’s the message that that girl is allowed to write of the glory of the Lord God Almighty…He is the reason for living and for whom I will someday die. There is nothing without Him, no god beside Him, and only by Him was I chosen as a witness to tell the world of His great deeds.

I remember hearing her parents say at her funeral that they realized, through reading her writings, that Lygon was always more His than she was theirs. I personally cannot thank them enough for their generosity in sharing her words with us. Lygon was, and always will be, a Hero with a capital H.

She is the face of beauty in a life well-loved. A life well lived.

A legacy of a life well written, left for those of us to read who, as her mother Sarah said, “still have a peak to summit.”

The Time to Live is Now

The time to run and wake up every morning excited about what the world might throw your way is Lygon on mountainnow. The time to lay low in turmoil and humility before God is now. The time to seek and find, the time to change and learn is now…

Now is the time to live. Not tomorrow, not in ten minutes, not in twenty, not when you are good and ready. But don’t think you have to do this and become this — your full duty is to love the Lord so much you would lay down your life and value His will above the richest gain of earth…Be a desperate searcher. Yes, the time to live, and live truly, is now.

♥ In loving memory of Lygon and Sarah Stevens ♥

To order the book Cairns for the Climb from the journals of Lygon Stevens and to read more of her story click here to go to the Lygon Stevens Time to Live is NOW website.

Day of Discovery has produced a full-length documentary The Time to Live is NOW on Lygon’s life story. The links below are to the preview and the full 90 minute video.

Linda Crawford

 

 

More Faces Of Beauty:

Me

Me

Amanda

Amanda

Embracing the Gift of our Days

Embracing the Gift of our Days

Writing in the White Space: Grave-tending What Was

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:15 MSG, NKJV

the dead trying to look aliveThe roses look dead in my garden.

Yet leaves still cling to thorny stalks that have stood upright through snow, cold, and the wicked winds that have whipped them.

Standing. Through the darkest season.  With the barest appearance of being alive.

Grave-tending the life that once was.

Afraid to let go, lest all becomes lost to death.

Like me.

But.

Today.

Is the first day after.

Resurrection life has been offered to me.

Jesus alive, stretches out blood-stained hands, and beckons me to surrender my grave-tending life . . . to LIFE.

Take my sorrow . . . take my fear, Lord.

“What was, is past,” He whispers.

girl at the graveTurning from tending my grave of the life that was, the eyes of my child open to see what will be . . .

Wonder, joy, and the hope of things beautiful to come.

The grave is overcome.

There’s a day that’s drawing near 
When this darkness breaks to light 
And the shadows disappear 
And my faith shall be my eyes 

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead.

(I Will Rise, Chris Tomlin)

The victory over my was is won . . .

“What’s next, Papa?”

“The becoming of beautiful,”  He whispers.The becoming of beautiful

Linda Crawford

 

 

We celebrate the beauty of words…written in the white space–the empty room of freedom of thought–where words are created that sing, dance and illustrate life’s beauty.

More Writing in the White Space:

Astonished by His Grace

Astonished by His Grace

Margins

Margins

We long to create poem

vytvoreni

He is Risen!

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.

Matthew 28:6 NLT

HE IS RISEN

Enjoy the simple beauty of this music video:

I Will Rise

by Chris Tomlin

Beauty from Brokenness: Beauty from the Ashes

Art from Ashes

This art piece by Cornelia Parker was created from the charred remains of a Southern Black Baptist Church destroyed by arsonists.

ashesSorrows are blackened into each piece of charred wood, yet echoes of voices raised in worship still resonate from the timbers.

There is beauty here, each charcoaled fragment a girder of praise miraculously risen from the rubble.

Pendant pieces of resurrection; once sheltering a family of worshipers and housing a home for hearts that desired to draw closer to God.

Fire, at the hand of man, sought to destroy it all.

Yet fire could not destroy the home of praise that lived in the heart of each believer.

No fire ever can.

When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 NLT

I will make my home among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Ezekiel 37:27 NLT

Linda CrawfordWe celebrate the beauty of recycled art and artists–the beauty to be discovered in the brokenness and the resurrection life to be found when God gives us beauty for ashes.

Praying for God to crown you with beauty today.

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. Isaiah 61:3 NLT

More Beauty from Brokenness:

Art from the Brokenness of Alcohol

Art from the Brokenness of Alcohol

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Recycled Orchestra

Recycled Orchestra

Beauty from Brokenness: Art from the Brokenness of Alcohol

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. Psalm 18:20 MSG

El AnatsuiWhat do you do when a piece of art immediately makes you cry?

You listen.

Because, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, art has the ability to:

“speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement.”

El AnatsuiEl AnatsuiThese pieces of art by the Nigerian artist El Anatsui are made from discarded liquor bottle caps. On a walk one day he came across a trash bag of these caps, brought them back to his art studio, and began to create art tapestries by linking them together with copper wire.

But the art is more than art to El Anatsui:

El Anatsui“I have a feeling of the presence of layers of people, right from the people who make the drink, the people who drank them, my associates and myself.”

He also feels a connection between Europe,  Africa and the Americas . . . because alcohol was an item traded for human slaves.

The destructive effects of alcohol have fueled abuse of many humans all over the world, destroyed many a family, and left many discarded hearts with sorrows, wounds, and lingering regret.

I stood in front of the first piece of art and cried, for how alcohol has created brokenness in my own world.  As I moved to listen to other pieces, I cried for how alcohol continues to create brokenness in our world.

Just this morning I read a news article of a teenage girl who drank too much at a party, and in a semi-conscious state was stripped naked and abused by two drunk teen boys. Nobody at the party stopped it.

Brokenness.

I wonder, if she could see this piece of art, would she see the small piece of it that is the story of her life–rewoven into a tapestry of hope, beauty and new life?

Would she, could she, see how much more the divine artist–THE creator, God–can take the pieces of brokenness in all our lives and weave them into a tapestry of such beauty?

I cry more. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is a small glimpse of the beauty of heaven . . . where all brokenness is redeemed, all the stories of our lives are joined, and every discarded remnant of pain turns to joy.

Where we become beauty from brokenness.

I pray you hear the hope in this art today–the hope for the beauty that can be wrought from the broken pieces of your life and mine.

Linda Crawford

Linda Crawford

The art of El Anatsui is currently on exhibit at:

The Brooklyn Museum through August 4, 2013

The University of Michigan Museum of Art through May 5, 2013

Meet El Anatsui and see more of his art on this short video:

More Beauty from Brokenness:

Lost and Found

Recycled Orchestra

The Becoming of an Artist

Writing in the White Space: Margins

God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatnessPsalm 145:3 MSG

Margins.

The outside limits. The white space beyond the words. The boundary lines of life, the edges of the impossible.margins

I live here. In the margins, between the margins, and sometimes beyond them.

I write notes in the margins of my Bible. Scribble comments in the margins of a favorite book. Doodle in the margins when I’m bored.

There’s room to play here, in the white space of life, yet I’m constrained by the boundaries of the margins.

I know if I stray off the page, go over the edge, color outside the frame–I’ll mess up the furniture…and perhaps my life.

There are a lot of words inside the margins in my life.

“Friends” share many (too many?) words inside the margins of the white and blue “book.” They make me laugh, sigh, grit my teeth, and occasionally cry. But even the white space inside the margins feels full and noisy. I occasionally jump into the frenetic jump-rope game long enough to recite a few words, then jump out again to spectate…and wonder if anybody even noticed I played the game.

It’s too crowded there to play…or breathe.

But the margins of my writing pad are all mine. The margins in my Bible are all mine. And it’s here, exploring, studying and playing in the margins of His words and mine, I discover the healing joy, the love, and the life of the white spaces of my life.

Bible marginsI see the beautiful in the margins of life here, for beauty is God’s handwriting.

I am hemmed in by His presence, and freed to live beyond the margins of my human circumstances and emotions.

His words are illuminated by a light from within. The margins become a place to digest them, to breathe, rest, play, and become.

I ‘m safe here, living within and beyond the margins with Christ…and

I no longer fear the emptiness…or the edge.

LindaLinda Crawford

This devotion was shared at Internet Cafe Devotions and Coloring Life Beautiful, and was inspired by Ruminate Magazine

 


More writings in the white space:

The Colors of Faith

Vytvoreni

Vytvoreni

Joy Floats

Resurrection

Cold

©2013 Linda Crawford

Beauty from Brokenness: Recycled Orchestra

Instruments from trash
“Despite living in dire circumstances, if a person has initiative and is creative, even trash can become an educational tool that could change someone’s life and the lives of others.”

An kid’s orchestra in a landfill. Cellos made from oil cans, saxophones from spoons, violins from metal pans. 

Inspiring. Beautiful. Wonderful. Amazing.We send back music

And challenging.

Imagine what we could do if we transformed the trash in our own lives to art and music.

Imagine what you could do . . .

 

More Beauty from Brokenness:

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

 

The Becoming of an Artist

The Becoming of an Artist

The Life Quilt

The Life Quilt

Photos from Friends: The Kingdom’s Perfumery

“And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3

Crushed Roses

This picture has a story to tell.

Moments before it was taken, these pink rose petals were floating on breezes perfumed with their own delicate scent.  Rose petal bundlesThey wouldn’t have been aware that within days their petals would fade and fall to perfume only a limited piece of ground.

rose distillationBut now, in the Master Perfumer’s hand, they will join 10,000 pounds of other petals and one pound of pure rose oil will emerge from the crush and distillation.

Dearest beloved, fear not!

You are part of a great distillation going on in the  Kingdom’s Perfumery.

You will only lose that which is not eternal. 

And once that which would fade is gone you will join that glorious fragrance so powerful that it fills the whole house.

“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 1 Cor. 2:15

Rejoice!

BinseyBinsey

Binsey, aka Carolyn, founded Two Trees Ministries with her husband in 2008, a ministry teaching the Body of Christ to unlearn their affection for the knowledge of good and evil and learn to eat from the Tree of Life, which is Christ. She also shares life-giving expressions of faith on her blog, Tree Thoughts.

 

More Photos from Friends posts:

Winter Beauty

Winter Beauty

Focus
Focus

The Tree

The Tree