After six days of crayons, cut outs, glue, stickers and not enough scissors, the 2 A's and a C have got the routine down to a messy art project.
Once the process is over, we scan the scene and look at the huge mess of stickers unstuck, glue globbed, paper shreds and crushed crayons littering the floors of the churches our programs have been held at. We make our apologies of course, but are always met with a 'don't worry, the children had a good time!'
Our return to the Agape Children's Home was a giggling reunion for some, but for the 17 new orphans, we were met with strange skeptisism. The pastor had shared some of their stories that were heartbreaking to hear. 'How could this happen?'
It was delightful to see them have fun, expressing joy, surprise, laughter and enthusiasm at – you guessed it those darn crafts! Oh, they had a time alright, and as the darkness settled in outside, the Pastor ran and stole lightbulbs from various other rooms in the orphanage to give illumination to their creation process.
Once the winners collected their prizes and returned to their seats, in the wake of all the children returning to their seats – I looked down at the floor: EEGADS – again! Scraps, globs, gloop, gross!
But when I looked up I saw something new. The children all held tightly to their decorated masterpieces. Beauty from ashes of trash. I told them to look down too. I asked 'what do you see?' It was hard to miss, and an easy answer 'a BIG MESS!' That's right, but in your hands you hold something beautiful. Now if someone walks in and looks at the floor, they would agree about the mess. They might not see what YOU created from out of the mess. Children, God is doing the same thing with you and me. Our circumstances may look like a mess, spilled tears, hearts torn, and crushed spirits – but God is making a treasure. He promises to hold very close to His heart.