LICHENS ON BARK
I’m hopelessly addicted to gathering up objects that have little value to most people, but which my eyes see as potential “artworks”. So when I saw a piece of bark lying in a street just beyond where I’d parked my car – why, I rescued it. Intricate lichen patterns on intriguing knobby bark.
Lichens are plant-like growths that form on rocks or trees. They are “composed of a fungus in symbiotic union with an alga.” [ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lichen ] There are thousands of kinds of lichens. (They are not parasites, so they do not harm the trees.) Their interwoven shapes and patterns entrance me.
Seeing this piece of bark enlarges my imagery about the nature of God. He must be hopelessly addicted to gathering in people that think they have little value. Humans are composites of good and bad traits. Yet if we turn to him in trust, if we believe he is rescuing us from our unshapely parts, surely he must see our crusty places and little knobs as “artworks”. We place ourselves in his hands to be made over, in the image of God.
When I’m tempted to devalue myself, let me consider how I see beauty in a piece of gnarly bark strewn with strange lichen. God, the Great Imaginator, doesn’t belittle me. He says I am his beloved. That must mean I’m beautiful, yes even entrancing, to him. May he reinforce my intricate patterns and intriguing spiritual shapes until they complete his grand design.
“Long ago, before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, because of what Christ did for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes – without a single fault – we who stand before him covered with his love.” (Eph. 1:4 TLB)
(c) 2012 by Marilee Miller
This post is shared with "On, In and Around Mondays" and "Playdates with God"