Hands-on Lent

Dryer lint.    

Dryer lint was the inspiration for “Sawatsky’s Sign-off,” the last story on our local newscast. Something about this particular story made me take notice—the creativity, found beauty, care for the environment, and use of art to speak volumes.  The artist Margie has a keen eye for the impossible.

Margie’s dryer lint creations, as Adam Sawatsky reported, explore the biggest issues of the human condition: a figurative work about being more loving, abstracts about our impact on the environment, pieces that migrated into each other over time to make a new result and shared as trading cards.  All inviting us to tangibly see our world through another lens.

Fast-forward just a day or two. In the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep, I continued reading Rachel Held Evan’s book, Wholehearted Faith. Rachel explained her inspiration to turn something ugly into something beautiful as a Lenten practice.  Over 40 days, she “let her fingers pray out” origami swans and sailboats and foxes from pages of hateful mail and she learned some things.

And it struck me, that is what Margie did with the dryer lint that she couldn’t just throw away.  And, what Mike Martin and his dad Fred began doing after the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Mike and Fred literally turn guns into garden tools in their garage blacksmith shop in Colorado.  And I’m certain you might have your own story to tell about practicing resurrection.

Rachel Held Evans wrote, “whether it’s turning an AK-47 into a rake, an old tire into a flower bed, or trash into a work of art, there is something profoundly fitting about struggling through the creative process with the goal of finishing something new by Easter to provide a tangible, hands-on experience in discipline, resurrection, and restoration.”  I knew this was something Mitch and I needed to figure out how to do together, especially this spring of 2022. 

We have been sheltered here on this Island where we live compared to most of the world.  I watch images of violence and hate that fill pages of our newspaper. We witness crowds of protestors of Old Growth logging and the outpouring of support for the Ukrainian people and linger near the hundreds of children’s’ shoes and stuffed animals that line the steps of the BC legislature building in our city.  Each pair represent a child who never returned home from the church-run residential schools in our province.  These are sorrows we carry together. 

So what will it change if I use my hands to heal something I can see?  Something that I will have to struggle to learn how to affect for good?

Rachel said she learned that “we are meant to remake this world together.  We hurt together and we are called to heal together, forgive together, and create together.’

Today, Mitch and I are going to begin our almost 40 days of hands-on care for what has been neglected for a very long time in our own backyard.

One thought on “Hands-on Lent

  1. Pingback: Just Sweep | Attentive to Joy

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