I’m so honored to have my friend Sandra Heska King on the blog today.
We have spent two weekends together in Texas at The High Calling’s retreat at Laity Lodge. Each time we connected overlooking the Frio River and marveled at God’s creation. She told dozens of stories of the canyon in a few photos and words. I remained in still silence, awed.
Sandra captures beauty with her camera lens and is one of the best listeners on the planet. She also writes with such beauty. I cry nearly every time I read her words. In all the good ways.
While sitting with Sandra in the dining hall at Laity Lodge last month, she wore a beautiful Vi Bella necklace as I explained to her how my heart was being wrecked by the mission of Vi Bella, by broken things becoming beautiful, and by Haiti. She was leaving for her trip to Haiti soon, and I marveled at her heart and courage.
You will love her as much as I do, I’m certain of it.
Without First the Breaking~~ by Sandra Heska King
E’s mother shut her and her sister out of the house because she could no longer care for them.
C was reclaimed from a trash heap in the worst part of Port Au Prince. She was about five years old, scarred and burned, abused and cast away. I met her two years ago on my first trip to the orphanage in Jeremie, Haiti, and now she has a new last name. She’ll arrive at her forever home in just a few weeks (hopefully) where she’ll have a beautiful life.
Sophonie’s parents died in the earthquake. She wanted to come home with me. It still breaks my heart. But not all the orphans are destined for adoption. God’s plan for them may include fashioning hope and beauty out of their brokenness right where they are so they can help rescue and transform other shattered lives.
I’m thinking on these things as I watch a movie with my grand girl–Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure.
Tinkerbell is chosen to create a unique scepter to raise up a rare magical stone. When the light of the blue harvest moon at its peak passes through the gem, it’ll create blue dust that’ll restore the pixie dust tree. But there’s an accident, and the stone breaks, and Tink sets off on a quest to save Pixie Hollow. In the process she learns about accepting responsibility for her own actions and the importance of love and compassion and forgiveness.
I think about this movie again in the morning as I stomp around the living room, alternately yelling at and then pleading with God over a dream demolished.
You know about those kinds of dreams.
When the precious bundle you cradled turns prodigal…
When infidelity shreds the vows you made until death do you part…
When disease nibbles at your mother’s brain…
When the drunk driver runs the stop sign…
When you’re pink-slipped…
When your home blows away, burns up, or collapses in an earthquake…
When your bank account shrivels…
When the tests show cancer…
When tendrils of disappointment and fear squeeze and suffocate.
So you pace and scream and weep and throw pillows and collapse in a puddle of tears. You make so much noise you can’t hear Him, and you’re not sure He hears you. You squat in the rubble and scrape your wounds with the shards of your shattered dream. But then you rise and dust yourself off.
You reach for the tip of His tassel, cling to the red cord.
Because what else can you do?
And you remember that your redeemer lives, that you were once an orphan rescued from the trash heap of sin and regret. You remember all your treasure is wrapped up in Him, and you are His treasure, His precious jewel.
And the hollow ache yawns wide and becomes a vessel to hold the perfume of His presence–even when you don’t sense it. You don’t smell it, but others do.
Because it’s the crushed who seep the sweetest fragrance.
It’s the broken and the bent who bend the light the brightest.
At the end of the movie, when Tinkerbell unveils her art, the other fairies gasp at the sight of the moonstone shards. But the way Tink has situated the pieces and dangled them from the scepter, they’re super magnified, and the surface area is so increased that when the beams of the blue moon pass through, they’re reflected in majestic rays and flashes of light that create the largest supply of pixie dust ever.
It never would have happened without first the breaking.
“Once a nurse, always a nurse,” some say, “but these days I, Sandra, care for (and care with) words, and sometimes I share them with others. I live in Michigan and write from a 150-plus-year-old family farmhouse set on 60-something acres surrounded by corn or soybeans or sometimes wheat. I’m a recovering doer who’s learning to be and be still. But I’ve been known to knock over a chair and run outside barefoot to snag a photo of some wild critter or bird or maybe just the way the light slants on a snowdrift. I spend way too much money on books, and I find my inner happy when I wander a woodsy trail, sit at a water’s edge, sip a new flavor of tea, or eat M&M’s the proper way—one sweet circle at a time.”
Sandra writes on her blog here, where she hosts a weekly “Still Saturday Community.”
ViBella Jewelry Company makes broken things beautiful. Their mission is discovering and uncovering beauty from the trash heaps. And creating jobs and beautiful lives.
Find their story here and consider being part of the redemptive work that we are doing in Haiti, Mexico, and right here in the United States.
And if you need to tell a story of redemption through art, visit The Beloved Shop and the beautiful artwork of Matthew and Shelley. Their reclaimed wood creations tell a beautiful story: