There are a thousand different stories that can be shared from this photo. Some of them are are triumphant. Some are heart-breaking. Many are beautiful.
This is a picture of a dinner party at a Mexican restaurant to honor an engagement. But it is also so much more. It’s a photograph of feasting and celebrating and loving and enduring friendship.
I’ve shared life with most of the people in this picture for over 20 years. We gather to witness marriages and births, to honor achievements, and celebrate milestones. We gather to carry each others burdens and to grieve the loss of loved ones, marriages, jobs, hopes and dreams, and beloved pets. They are my people.
Our personal journeys have become a collective story. Individual threads weaving together to create a beautiful tapestry. A design bound by love and grace and hope.
Some threads in this tapestry are long and thick, serving as anchors that hold everything together. Other threads are wearing and frayed. Some are broken. But all are significant. And the darker threads really are the ones that give any tapestry it’s depth.
The varied moments of life allow us to look at our collective tapestries from different angles. Sometimes we stand up close to the front, noticing or studying a specific pattern or design. Seeing new threads. Discovering brighter and stronger ones. Other times we are forced to spend time behind the tapestry, confronted by the knotted and snarled and scratchy threads. And occasionally we have an opportunity to step back and marvel at the larger, glorious image being formed. The picture that is harder to see in the midst of daily life.
This joyous dinner is one of those latter times. A time to gaze upon the wonder of a greater beauty that is continuing to be created, in spite of the threads of brokenness, disappointment, struggle, and failure.
These people. These stories. It is here that I find the reflection of God’s presence and redemptive work when I can’t see it in myself. In my circumstances. My threads woven into their stories so that when I wander or feel lost or broken I can trace my threads back to theirs and back to truth. To hope. To peace. To confidence. To love. To Christ.
“I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else.” (Colossians 2:2, The Message).
Treasures of the wisdom and knowledge and the grace of God are embedded in our tapestries. Remarkable.
This week I am grateful for the feasting and the celebrating and the marveling at the tapestry of love being formed by by the intersections of my life and theirs.
Artistry from all angles. Woven together by God, the master of creators.