When I was in eighth grade in 1987, we were given the assignment to design our own visors for the annual school parade and picnic. I was excited at the prospect of designing my own visor and gave the task much thought, but couldn’t decide what to paint.
When the time came to draw the design onto the visor, I ended up painting too many objects on the front. My grand project turned into a mess! The design ended up looking cluttered, and I was distraught when looking at it.
I’m sure some tears were shed after looking at the item. My hopes in having a beautiful visor to wear were dashed. And then came one of our room moms: Mrs. Morgan. She had been my Girl Scout leader for many years and was the mom of my middle school best friend. Mrs. Morgan came up, assured me it was going to be ok, and then began to take my visor and paint over the busyness of the design. She left my rainbow and Ziggy and took the attempts I had made at painting balloons and outlined each of them in silver paint.
When she was finished the artwork became something magnificent. Instead of clutter were clouds. The design flowed together. I knew that I would be marching in the parade with a masterpiece on my head instead of the disaster I thought I would wear.
On that day in 1987, Mrs. Morgan did more than redesign the image of my visor; she taught me a priceless lesson: when we have a project full of errors, this isn’t the completed design of our project. Our designs aren’t permanently ruined. God gives us grace and wisdom to understand how to take the messiness in front of us and craft something beautiful.
I carry this lesson with me. Whether I’m working on a piece of artwork or writing project, helping out one of the youth in my church with their project, or working on another assignment that may not be coming together smoothly, God is always infusing my work with grace and mercy, helping me understand that there is new life in messes.
May we each carry the grace-filled lesson of my visor into our churches, homes, workplaces, and communities.