As an eighteen month old baby, I remember sitting in the back of the car whilst my Mum collected some large flagstones from a man called Mr Greene, had them put in the boot and then drove home. I don’t remember anything else from that far back, but for some reason I do remember that.
I don’t however remember the next bit, but my family tell the story more or less as follows:
‘All was quiet and still as dawn broke in the little village where the little house was where ‘The Shaw’ family lived. Suddenly the silence was shattered by a crash, bang and a wallop! Daddy and Mummy Shaw arose to find little Lindsay with hammer raised high above her head delivering another blow to the newly laid hearth stones. The beautiful 2 piece hearth-stone now resembled crazy paving and a couple of the stones waiting to be built into a fire place lay in pieces!
Dad and Mum must have been quite upset at the time. I had certainly ruined all their careful handiwork. I think they must have felt a sense of horror combined with laughter as they saw me ‘trying to help.’
They painstakingly cemented each bit together until the hearth and fireplace were complete again…. Flawed, yet complete.
As I grew up, I never once heard them moan about it. It’s a part of my family story and it worked perfectly well for decades!!
N.B The hearth has now been replaced, but this is the fireplace. Note some of the small fragments of stone. These are the product of my handiwork.
As a child of God, there are times when I have wrongly tried to ‘help His plans along; there are times when I have made wrong choices and times when I have tripped and stumbled because I’ve still been toddling in some areas of my life. He knows and yet, like the perfect loving Father, he graciously picks me up when I run to him and he helps me to begin afresh.
Even when I have wilfully chosen a course of action that was not God’s way, He has sent his Spirit to call me out, but not so that He can throw me ‘into the fireplace of life’, but so that The Master Craftsman can work with me to painstakingly restore me bringing each piece together until my life resembles a beautiful and complete crazy paving!
God is the expert at creating beauty from brokenness….