Muse & Meander

Shaping a Genesis week from the chaos of my life

Life is fragile

Long before there were Pinterest boards, sentiments and quotes were cross-stitched on linen squares, burned into wood or sewn on pillowcases. Stitched or sewn, wood-worked or sculpted, the words were internalized during the hours given to perfecting the detailed work. It seems we’ve been matching beauty and words together forever. 

My friend had a sampler that I loved when we were teenagers. It was quite large for a hand-stitched piece, perhaps 60×80 cm or so. On the upper right and lower left corners, precise x’s mirrored the edge of its wooden frame. A little wren sang over a misplaced nest tucked into a flourish of autumn flowers. All of this was to highlight the letters formed by wool in the middle.

Life is fragile. Handle with prayer.

While I could appreciate the sentiment, for me the real value was in who had stitched it. At the time, there wasn’t anyone in the world I admired more. So when her daughter and I decided to share an apartment together, I was pretty delighted to see the embroidered sentiment come with us. It hung proudly in our home for the two or three years we lived together.

And in all that time, I never really got it.

life is fragile

It’s true, of course.  Life is fragile. We see it every day and yet  I’m still surprised at how capriciously I can treat it. It doesn’t take much to remind me–a doctor’s visit, news about cancer (why does it always seem to be cancer?), a car accident, a death, expected or not–and I wonder again why this isn’t a lesson I can retain long enough to make a difference.

Life is fragile.

And so are the elements that define it. I’ve found this to be a very long winter, and yet it’s already the end of March.  How did that happen? In just a few weeks, I’ll finally see my crocuses–I cling to that hope, but quickly after, I’ll realize it’s already summer, soon to be fall, and before I know it new snow will herald the arrival of another new year.  Time–and life–goes by whether I treat it carefully or not.

Do you find it that way with everything else too? Health is valued after we can’t get it back. Deep relationships are mourned after they’ve been torn or thrown away. Mobility is missed when circumstances make it more difficult to get around. We catch up on friend’s statuses without really catching up with friends. We have all the best intentions and so little of the follow-through.  We stifle growth by holding on to fear or judgment or the right to be right.

That’s not treating life with care. Or prayer.

I have work to do this week.  Do you?

“…Anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

John 12:25 The Message

16 comments on “Life is fragile

  1. Nancy Rue
    March 25, 2014

    You bet I do, my friend.

  2. Tonia Hurst
    March 25, 2014

    Right there with you on this. So much distraction in life it’s easy to miss the essence in the hurry. Thank you for this well timed, beautifully written reminder.

    • Crystal Thieringer
      March 25, 2014

      Tonia, so much of what you offer is timely. I appreciate your comments, and more than that…I appreciate you.

  3. Denise Jackson
    March 25, 2014

    Crystal, there is warmth in your words to tide us over until winter is really gone for good. What a nice reminder of what’s important. Thank you.

  4. Laura Hile
    March 25, 2014

    Time–and life–goes by whether I treat it carefully or not.

    Thank you for this, Crystal.

    I’m also thinking that when I neglect to pray, I miss seeing God’s grace in a hard situation.

    • Crystal Thieringer
      March 25, 2014

      God’s grace is there, Laura…and might even be delivered by human hands. Prayer is so important. I know what you mean; I have found myself thinking the same thing.

  5. Debbie Simorte
    March 25, 2014

    I needed this today, Crystal. I have work to do, starting with really catching up with friends. Thanks!

    • Crystal Thieringer
      March 25, 2014

      Debbie, I’m blessed to know it spoke to you. I have similar tasks ahead of me, and I intend to approach them with joy.

  6. ljandrie57
    March 25, 2014

    So perhaps that coffee meeting I was going to bypass tonight …….

  7. childofaslan
    March 26, 2014

    “Life is fragile. […] It doesn’t take much to remind me.” …But it always takes reminders for me.

    “We have all the best intentions and so little of the follow-through. We stifle growth by holding on to fear or judgment or the right to be right. That’s not treating life with care. Or prayer.” ….Word! Preach, sister.

    Thank you, m’dear. Yes.

    • Crystal Thieringer
      March 26, 2014

      yes, it “always takes reminders for me”. You are challenging me again to pay attention.

  8. Love, love, love that quote Crystal. Thank you for sharing!

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This entry was posted on March 25, 2014 by in What I'm thinking today and tagged , , , .

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