During the Vacation Bible School this summer, a church member created some amazing decorations for the kiddos using recycled kitchen pans and cans and whisks. These old parts became robots, a delight for all the children. I have to admit that I have been coveting these items for months, knowing I didn’t have the vision or skill set to create such a fun item and also that Plum would love to have his own at home. This week I happened to be at church as the closet was being cleaned and I was offered the biggest robot of all, the one I have loved from its first appearance. Yes, yes, I would love to have this gift, yes, I eagerly accepted this present. Yet as I loaded him up in the car, he fell apart, he lost his body, his head came apart. Legs separated, He reverted to pieces and parts.
Before Plum got home, I pulled out the glue and then the glue gun, I reassembled this work of art as best I could, knowing he would never be the same and yet Plum didn’t know my meager efforts were falling short of the original vision. He shrieked with joy, he created play around his new buddy immediately. The robot has a new home to be loved and admired and stirring hours of imagination. I realized I am like that robot, created to be a work of art, built of pieces and parts that often come undone, that get damaged as we travel through life. Whole and beautiful as we sit in the sanctuary, still we are sent out into the world to bring new life and joy to others. I am created to leave the church and incite play and wonder and rearrange my broken parts to find an alternate purpose, rearranging those old stories and memories into shapes that bring beauty and resurrection. No, I am not built for the trash heap, just as these pans and the old hand held video game spring to life as my Plum describes the battles his robot is entering.
I was gifted with the efforts of another’s vision this week, the transforming power of art and play that lasts long after the show, long after the decorations are stowed for another year. I am reminded that our stories and our testimonies reverberate, that folks we may never even meet gain strength from our admissions of brokenness. from our acts of faith. I found myself in a broken robot this week, in the redemption of old soup cans and dryer vent tubing. I know I am more than the hurts and the wounds, there is hope for me as I am being made new in my faith, as I draw closer to the One who created me.
May you find hope in the resurrection of your whole self, may you realize the opportunities to become new and to spread joy and disrupt anger with play. May you know that the good you put out into the world matters, that it echoes long after you have left the scene. Six months later, I found hope in the artwork of a friend, in the gift from another friend.