On a gray day it leaned there against a worn brick wall. If there ever was a salute to spring, it was this. A bright, yellow bike. It stood as a beacon of “happy” in the middle of a tired and colorless cityscape.
Amazing what some spray paint and a few artificial flowers can do.
Sometimes I feel like this is what my life needs–just some bright paint to cover over all the rust and ugly. And perhaps some flowers to tuck behind my ear.
But as pretty as a bright yellow bike might be on a cloudy day, it’s really only good for decoration. It’s not particularly useful. There is no push in the petals, no fragrance in the flowers.
And my life won’t be useful, either, if it’s all covered with veneer. The Lord has been using some deep sorrows recently to reveal my heart to me and make me more and more “real.” It’s like the Skin Horse says in one of my favorite children’s books:
“Being ‘Real’ doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” ― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit.
It’s hard to be “here” when it hurts. Sometimes I want to run away from my troubles. But the Lord is using even (especially) my sorrows to make me more pliable, to soften the edges, to make me more resilient, and to remind me of His satisfying presence in the middle of it all.