Among the many delights of planning a wedding is selecting flowers that reflect the bride’s tone and theme. I enjoyed the gift of joining both Emily, Sammy’s fiancé, and Sophie, my daughter, when they each met with their florist. Flowers of different shapes, smells, and stature filled buckets as Emily and Sophie dreamed and played with ideas to reflect the vision for their weddings.
As Sophie and the florist began to create floral possibilities, the florist shared an interesting story about scraps.
Several years ago, the florist attended a local design show. During a session, several florists took the platform one by one. They chose from several containers flowers and greenery, cutting and snipping the myriad of floral stems to craft a unique and beautiful bouquet. As they worked trimming stems, removing unnecessary foliage and collecting just the right blend of shape, size and color hue, scraps accumulated on the floor. These discarded pieces scattered and layered upon the platform.
The final floral designer approached the stage. Reknown for his extravagant designs, the observers looked forward to what he might create from the beautiful array of colorful and unique stems. However, instead of moving toward the canisters holding the flowers and greenery, he bent to pick up pieces from the scraps dropped across the floor. With ease, he collected, arranged, collected again and rearranged. In the end, his handiwork brought awe to the audience. He then shared that this bouquet created from scraps would sell for $300 in his store. The encouragement and challenge to the onlookers was to notice what is deemed waste; to pay attention to what is cut away and tossed to the floor. There is beauty in the garbage, in the scraps.
Scraps – leftovers, crumbs, remnants, bits and pieces, waste, pieces
Leaving our floral visit, I found myself struck by this story about scraps.
- I remembered the story of how Boaz left scraps in the field for Ruth to gather, providing sustenance for her and her mother in law (see Ruth 2).
- The Food TV show, Chopped, comes to mind. On occasion the mystery basket is composed of leftovers which the contestants then use to create an integrated and delicious main dish.
- The humorous outtakes from movies often land on the cutting room floor, yet their inclusion in the final edits bring a smile to those watching through to the end.
- Paul records his life journey in 2 Corinthians 11 and 12, boasting about the scraps in his life that became part of preparing him for and validating the ministry God designed for him.
God is the Master Designer and He makes beautiful things from the scraps in our life; the things we’d like to cut off and cut out. We would like to forget about these scraps. Yet carefully and artistically, God gathers our experiences, the hardships, and delights within our lives and forms them into a colorful expression of His glory and redemptive movement.
Reflect for a moment over the past week – do you notice the scraps lying on the floor of your life? In what ways are you trying to just ‘forget them’ or ‘move on’?
Scraps might look like:
- Friction in a relationship
- Being “let go” from a job you love
- A nagging cold
- An unexpected bill
- Dropping a freshly baked dessert on the floor
- Being late for work
- Discord with a coworker
- A whinny friend or family member
- Being called for jury duty
- Car trouble
- Disarray from stormy weather
- Politically charged conversations
- A burnt meal
- Delayed travel
What would it look like to ask God to redeem the scraps from this past week? From your whole life?
Often we look for purpose when we encounter pain, understanding with our unique experiences and comfort when faced with chaos. During these moments God might feel close or far away.
Regardless of whether we see the beautiful bouquet God is making from the scraps in our lives, He is present and purposeful and does not waste anything.
In the letter to the Romans, we are reminded of our Scrap Saving Savior: “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:27-28).
Can you thank God for the scraps from this past week? From your life?
Maybe consider praying something like this: God, honestly I don’t like the scraps in my life. They often bring pain, disruptions, confusion, and sorrow. By the Holy Spirit, help me trust you with all of my life. Thank you for being a triune God of beauty and redemption. You are Good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The song Beautiful Things by Gungor plays in my head: “All around, Hope is springing up from this old ground, Out of chaos life is being found, in you. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust, You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us.”
Notice the scraps in life and trust God’s handiwork and creativity to design a masterpiece of His redeeming love. He is your Scrap-Saving Savior who loves you deeply!
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on earth.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested music videos.
Gungor. Beautiful Things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyPBtExE4W0
Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music. It Is Well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNqo4Un2uZI
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
July 15-17 – Concord, CA
I get to visit and assist my parents as my dad had open heart surgery on June 7.
July 20-25 – Washington, DC
Traveling to the ECFA headquarters to record a 5 minute video for their upcoming Governance Forums, as well as share in two podcasts. Additionally, Gary and I will welcome Gary’s Global Trust Partners staff from around the world for staff training and development.