I came across a devotional by Quinn Caldwell that made me pause and contemplate man’s on-going search for security through our own man-made armor and not God’s…it might make us feel safer but usually ends up in a lesson in futility.
When the artist Seamus Moran visited the Tower of London, his attention was arrested by a disturbing sight: standing amid the rows of suits of armor for men and horses, a little metal outfit, maybe two and a half feet tall. A suit of armor made for a child. Probably it was made for ceremonial purposes, not for battle. But still: what sort of world so glorifies war and violence that it would dress a child in metal so heavy he could hardly have been able to move?
In response, Moran created Harness: Armour for Birds, now on display not far from the child’s armor. The ridiculousness of a bird wearing armor is exactly the piece’s point. At what point do you become so self-protected that you can no longer do the thing you were created to do? How much protection do you need—and how much can you bear before you stop being able to grow, or fly?
Jesus knew about burdens, the ones the world gives us and the ones we give ourselves. He knew about harnesses, and yokes. Don’t put on the heavy armor, he said. Put on the light armor. Don’t put on the armor that smells like grease and machines and war. It might protect you, but it will sink you to the ground. Instead, put on the armor that feels like feathers on the wind and smells like the sun on a child’s skin. Don’t put on the world, he said. Put on me.
I couldn’t help but think of the David and Goliath story I first heard as a child….I remember being mesmerized by preparations for the encounter…David being placed in armor to the point he could’t stand or move much less fight…it was too heavy for his young, lean body. So he made the decision to remove all the armor and to only arm himself with his slingshot from home with five pebbles. (He ended up only needing one pebble to conquer his foe.)
Today we are armed with nuclear warheads that can cause unimaginable destruction…yet still we hear God tell us quite simply how to prepare for conflict: Ephesians: 6-18 (excerpt)
*(Instead of putting physical armor on ourselves or digging bomb shelters-I remember seeing as a child growing up in the Cold War period- we turn to God for our help, our protection, against our enemy.)
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I remember reading a passage from Helen Keller that said (something to the effect) that there is no such thing as security in this life, the animals know this…but man spends so much of his life on earth consumed by finding it…instead of loving the time spent here with his fellow man.
Leo Tolstoy, also, knew this when he said: “Where love is God is.” When we leave love behind to fight and hate our enemy it is made harder because God has been left out of the equation.
So until tomorrow…Help us all find the faith strength needed to face conflict…which can be mostly avoided if we, also continue to love our fellow man…with no armor needed except God’s.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
For Anne’s birthday we went to Hollow Tree Nursery and got some plants and then lunch at Duke’s in Ridgeville. It was so beautiful outside and we had the best conversation with Lisa (owner). She, too, has had breast cancer and told us how she made herself take up an earlier passion for painting…taking on many of the worn ceramic and stone statues throughout the nursery.
We had both commented on how fresh and bright (all the pretty and creative/cute) signs looked coming down the dirt road into the nursery. Now we knew the answer. She said it helped pull her out of her depression. She looked great and seemed at peace with the world.
Here are some pictures of our trek through the nursery and the fields nearby…with the car loaded up as usual on the way home.
Thought this bench was symbolic of the the good-byes to summer and hello to fall…..watermelon to camellias and pine straw….
What is that superstition about passing a field with bales of hay? Something like…Make a wish and turn away. Hope everyone has a good day today…devoid of conflict.
I am so glad I checked my mail before heading to Charleston because Honey had sent me a Clemson pinky ring and Breast Cancer Clemson insignia for the game…I put them both on before I headed to Mt. Pleasant to babysit!
Eva Cate made me a Christmas ornament for the fight against breast cancer.