One of the things that I’m constantly amazed at is that things that seem like contradictions to us, like they could never possibly go together or work out in any way shape or form, those things are not impossible for my God.
He brings life from death, light from dark, bright shiny new from filthy rags.
That brings me a lot of hope.
I’ve been reading this lovely book, Cold Tangerines by Shauna Neiquist. Shauna has a way of telling the stories of her life in a funny and inspiring way. The kinds of stories that make you sigh in relief as you think to yourself “I thought that was just me.” They are everyday experiences that reveal sparkling nuggets of truth.
In one of the chapters, Soup for Bones, she talks about this hope of redemption:
“And that soup, that plain old turkey soup, made me feel like a miracle worker or a magician, bringing something from nothing. I think there’s a particular beauty to that idea for me right now because I’ve spent so long feeling like a pile of bones, and the idea that these old bones can make something lovely and sustaining moves me.
That’s the heart of the story, really, the story of God and people and his hands in the world. All through history, he’s making soup from bones, life from death, love from hate.
I like the idea of everything being alive, healthy, brimming with spirit and hope. I wish my life was like that. There are moments of life and beauty, but there are also a lot of bones, skeletons from lives already lived, regrets, broken hearts and promises and relationships. Now on my best days, I take a look at each pile of bones and imagine what it would take to make some soup, to repair and redeem, to make something dead into something full of life and flavor.
Sometimes it takes a phone call, or an apology. Sometimes it takes a new promise, even though I’ve broken so many in the past. Sometimes telling the truth, sometimes giving up something important, sometimes leaving something long dead. And what you get from that pile of bones is soup—warm, rich, full of life and soul and spirit. You get something beautiful out of trash, which is the whole point.”
Thanks, Shauna. If you haven’t read her book, I highly recommend it.
Let’s follow in our maker’s footsteps. Let’s make soup.