Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm Friends with Ugly

Christmas 2006

I'm reading Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to SEE.  I've waited quite a while to read it, actually.  I saw it at the Christian bookstore in our area last fall in the midst of bringing home a storage unit full of unread books and useless collections o'junk.  I decided it would be best not to purchase the book but to get it from the library...cuz, you know - library fines are so much cheaper than buying the book outright...
So yesterday morning I ran over to the library after checking its availability online and found the book.  I'll be able to finish it tonite.  It's an easy read.  And it's compelling.  Not in the way A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth will be - I grabbed that one, too, since I'm a new HUGE Wicked fan.  But compelling.

I would love to adopt.  I always have had the heart to do so.  My friend recently adopted a little girl from China (I love you CherBear!).  David Platt, in his book Radical, discusses the plight and the subsequent call to believers to care for widows and orphans.  My husband read that book.  I'm not certain he shares my aspirations of adoption - yet.  I'm going to have him read this book, too. 


Mary Beth discusses how their road to adoption began.  And of course, it ultimately describes the devastating accident that took their sweet daughter Maria away from them.  But in betwixt and between all that, she discusses her faith in the midst of doubts.  And she talks about doing 'hard.'  Kind of like Shawni talks about doing hard.  Well, exactly like Shawni, actually.

And in a week when every day I receive calls from friends being forced to do 'hard,' I decided that life really can be ugly.  But I am choosing to embrace Ugly.  Because through pruning, new, healthier branches of the vine give way to better and more abundant fruit.  Because life stirs from the death of the seed, from the burnt offerings of the hillside, from the revolution of the earth to once again burst forth with Spring again.

So, around here, we'll embrace the hard.  And we'll support and lift up the friends who are walking with the ugly.  We'll join hands with him, too.  Because there is Art in walking through the ugly and emerging, strenghthened, on the other side.   And I am an Art collector.

"So God confirmed this truth yet again: I can choose to SEE His story, or I can miss it.  And I know - in the winter of our grieving and the frozen mourning of my plans that will never be and my dreams that have died - the reality is this: God's warm breath is on the move.  New life is budding...and often where I expected it the least, like right inside of me. ... Yes.  Spring is coming...."(Mary Beth Chapman in Choosing to SEE)
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